Wing Commander Deepika Misra (29283) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit. She is a Qualified Flying Instructor and an Instrument Rated Instructor & Examiner.
On 02 Aug 21, the officer was detailed to undertake Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operations in response to flash floods in northern Madhya Pradesh. Despite the odds of deteriorating weather, strong winds and the nearing sunset time, Wing Commander Deepika negotiated the challenging weather and was the first and only respondent to reach the affected area the same evening. Her initial aerial recce and inputs thereof proved to be instrumental in planning of the entire rescue operation by IAF, NDRF, SDRF and other civil authorities.
After the initial recce, she sprang into action, picking up stranded people from roads, fields and rising grounds and dropping them to safe places away from flood waters. In one instance she had to evacuate four villagers from a roof top. Despite the high risk of spatial disorientation due to limited visual cues and flowing water, she was successful in saving their lives. The rescue operation including low hover pick-ups and winching lasted for an exhaustive eight days and she saved lives of 47 people including ladies and children. Her efforts of bravery and courage not only saved precious lives in a natural calamity but also instilled a sense of safety amongst the common populace in the flood affected area.
For this act of exceptional courage, Wing Commander Deepika Misra is awarded Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry).