Bhubaneswar: Air Vice Marshal Dilip Kumar Patnaik, who hails from Bhubaneswar, has been conferred with ‘Ati Visisth Seva Medal’ by the President on Republic Day for distinguished service of an exceptional order and devotion to duty.
At present, Patnaik is the senior most serving Odia officer in the Indian Air Force.
He completed his schooling from DM School and KV-1 in Bhubaneswar and then joined the National Defence Academy around 40 years ago. In his 35 years of service, he has held several crucial posts in the Air Force.
As a young squadron leader, Patnaik was awarded the ‘Vayu Sena Medal’ (Gallantry) for his acts of exceptional courage and bravery during the Kargil War in 1999. He flew the Mirage 2000 aircraft for bombing missions on enemy positions at Muntho Dhalo, Tiger Hill and Muskoh Nala during war.
Patnaik was also actively involved in the ground operations during the Balakot surgical strike by IAF aircraft.
Patnaik is currently serving as the Commandant of the prestigious College Of Air Warfare at Secunderabad. Earlier, this Odia IAF officer was posted as the Assistant Chief of Air Staff Operations (Air Defence) at the Air Force Headquarters. During his tenure, he also played a stellar role in the ‘Gaganshakti’ exercise.