‘Touch the Sky with Glory’! Mluru Origin IAF Group Capt Hansel Sequeira Honored with ‘Yudh Seva Medal’
‘Touch the Sky with Glory’! Mangaluru Origin Indian Air Force (IAF) Group Captain Hansel Joseph Sequeira Honored with ‘Yudh Seva Medal’ during the 88th Indian Air Force Day on 8 October 2020 for his daring role- he was one of the Air Force officers who took active part to avenge the Pulwama Terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir in which India carried out an aerial strike at a terror training camp in Balakot in Pakistan on 26 February 2019. The Yudh Seva Medal recognizes distinguished service of a high order during war, conflict or hostilities.
Mangaluru: It is a proud moment for Mangaloreans, as well as Putturuians (Puttur) that a Son of the Soil has been honoured with the prestigious ‘Yudh Seva Medal, a Medal which recognizes distinguished Service of a High Order during War, Conflict or Hostilities. And Mangaluru/Puttur origin 42-year-old Group Captain Hansel Joseph Sequeira was the recipient of this prestigious Medal, which was presented to him during a grand parade-cum-investiture ceremony held at the Air Force Station Hindon near Delhi to commemorate the 88th anniversary of the Indian Force.
Indian Air Force Day is commemorated on 8 October every year to mark the foundation day of the Indian Air Force in 1932. The ceremony was attended by the top brass of Indian Air Force including the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria. Other notable dignitaries included the Chief of Defence Staff and the Army and Naval Chiefs. Indian Air Force Officers part of the Balakot operation and Indian Air Force’s action to neutralise Pakistan’s air raid last year in February after India targeted terror camps across the Line of Control received Yudh Seva medal on the occasion of Air Force Day on 8 October. The officers who received the Yudh Seva Medal are- Group Captain Hansel Sequeira, Squadron Leader Minty Agarwal and Group Captain Hemant Kumar Vadsra.
After presenting the medals to the deserving comrades, Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria said, “I would like to commend all warriors for the quick response, in the recent stand-off on our northern frontiers, when we deployed our combat assets at short notice to handle any eventuality, and provided proactive support to all the requirements of deployment and sustenance for the Indian Army. We have demonstrated our resolve, operational capability, and the will to effectively engage the adversary, should the need arise”.
Group Captain Hansel Joseph Sequeira, born in Mangaluru in 1978, completed his PUC at St Joseph’s College at Bengaluru. He appeared for the NDA exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission and was selected to join the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, Pune in 1996. He graduated after three years of studies at NDA Pune. He was commissioned into the Indian Air Force in 2000. Group Captain Hansel Joseph Sequeira’s name found a place in the list of Independence Day Gallantry Awards 2019 for his role in Balakot Operations.
Captain Hansel is the son of proud parents- Victor Vincent Sequeira, from Puttur, a Retired Revenue officer, Karnataka Housing Board and Mrs Olivia Sequeira from Kadri, Mangaluru-a retired Manager of Syndicate Bank. Hansel has married Prajwal,( the daughter of Arthur and Sylvia Concessao from Mangaluru) , and they have two lovely kids Elaina and Luke. Hansel has a sister, Mrs Merril Rego lives in London with her family. Hansel is the nephew of Archbishop Emirates Vincent Concessao, New Delhi. He was one of the Air Force officers who took active part to avenge the Pulwama terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir in which India carried out an aerial strike at a terror training camp in Balakot in Pakistan on February 26, last year. A total of 40 soldiers were killed in the terror attack claimed by Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed on February 14.
While the group captains, including Hansel Sequeira, honoured are fighter pilots part of the operations to bomb terror camps in Pakistan, Squadron Leader Agarwal was the fighter control the following day playing an important role giving directions to Indian pilots to combat and neutralise the Pakistan Air Force attack. This is when Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s MiG 21 was hit and he ejected on the Pakistani side. The Balakot airstrikes were carried out as a punitive action on Pakistan based terror groups after 40 Indian soldiers were killed in a terror attack claimed by Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed on February 14, 2019, in Pulwama.
Team Mangalorean congratulates Group Captain Hansel Joseph Sequeira on his great achievement and wishes him all the best to soar to greater heights and “Touch the Sky with Glory.”