EMBARGO : NOT TO BE PUBLISHED/BROADCAST/
OR USED ON SOCIAL MEDIA BEFORE 26 JAN 22, 0001 HRS
Wing Commander Chinmaya Patro (29679) is on posted strength of a Mi-17-V5 Helicopter Unit.
On 03 Apr 21, as part of Operation Triveni, Wg Cdr Patro was detailed to lead a three aircraft Casualty Evacuation (CasEvac) mission post a deadly ambush by Naxals. This high-risk mission involved landing in an unfamiliar hostile area. He was instrumental in the initial planning and led a two aircraft formation to the nearest nodal helipad. Soon after landing at the helipad after aerial recce, he reassessed the situation from the on-ground forces and provided valuable inputs for an “On-site Cas Evac”. He planned the launch of the third helicopter to provide aerial support at the hostile site.
During the mission, however, the casualties were observed at a site that was located at a distance away from that communicated previously. Wg Cdr Patro took a calculated decision to continue with the casualty extraction based on the visual signal, presence of number of friendly troops and a thorough scan of the adjacent area. Thereafter, he deftly manoeuvered to avoid the threat zones and landed on a small unprepared area adjacent to the encounter site. He airlifted seven casualties to Raipur and thereafter guided the second helicopter towards the landing site.
Displaying exceptional commitment and astute presence of mind, his prompt actions led to his team evacuating 18 casualties and 22 Mortal Remains from the ambush site. He also orchestrated the reinforcement of about 120 troops in the vicinity of the ambush site. By willingly accepting and executing a very high-risk mission resulting in saving of precious lives, Wg Cdr Patro displayed exceptional courage which acted as a morale booster to the forces on ground.
For his act of exceptional courage and disregard to personal safety in an extremely hostile area in Operation Triveni, Wg Cdr Chinmaya Patro is conferred with the award of Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry).