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Odishatv Bureau

President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday honoured Indian Air Force officer from Odisha, Air Marshal Dilip Kumar Patnaik with Ati Vishisht Seva Medal to recognize his "distinguished service of an exceptional order" to the armed forces.

Patnaik recently became the first Odia to be elevated to the prestigious position of Air Officer Commanding in Chief of Eastern Air Command.

Patnaik was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the Indian Air Force on 08 June 1984 and is qualified with vast experience in handling fighter combat aircrafts. He has successfully held various crucial positions in the Indian Air Force during his career spanning over 35 years. 

He was conferred with the Vayu Sena Medal for gallantry during Kargil Operations in 1999. As the Squadron FCL of a Mirage 2000 Squadron during Kargil operations, he undertook air to ground bombing missions against critical targets.

The Air Officer commanded a premier Air Force Station which was awarded 'Best in Operations' by Western Air Command during that period.

An alumnus of Defence Services Staff College and having Higher Air Command Course, he also coordinated the activities at the nerve centre for Air Operations leading to the smooth conduct of the Exercise Gagan Shakti.

His contribution prior to and during and after Balakot strike has been instrumental in maintaining high state of serviceability and readiness of Air Defence assets.

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