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SQN LDR T J A KHAN: VISHISHT SEVA MEDAL

Squadron Leader Tarique Jamil Ahmad Khan was born on 16th December 1963. He was commissioned into the Indian Air Force at the age of 22 years. He had also acquired professional qualifications of a Fighter Combat Leader and Qualified Flying Instructor besides undergoing the prestigious course at Defence Services Staff College, Wellington. In 2002, Squadron Leader Khan was serving with MiG Operational Flying Training Unit (MOFTU). 

Service Number 18072 F(P) 
Rank Squadron Leader 
Unit MOFTU AF 
Award Vishisht Seva Medal 
Date of Martyrdom 20th April 2002 

On 20th April 2002, Squadron Leader Khan was undertaking a sortie along with Flying Officer Deepak Dahiya. As per the plan, Squadron Leader Khan and Flying Officer Deepak took off from the base located in the Sonitpur district of Assam. The first leg of the mission went off as strategised but on its return leg, the MiG-21 aircraft lost contact with ground control and went missing. The area from where aircraft lost control was thick and dense with forest cover. An extensive search operation was launched by security personnel but could not locate the debris of the aircraft. And unfortunately, two pilots were lost. 

Squadron Leader Khan was a competent pilot who laid down his life in the line of duty. He was awarded ‘Vishisht Seva Medal’ posthumously for his selfless service. 

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