01 Aug 1993 - 31 Dec 1995
Swaroop Krishna Kaul was born on 20th December 1934. He did his schooling was done at Beseant college in Varanasi and did his graduation from Government College Allahabad in 1951.
Kaul joined the National Defence Academy in December 1951 and went on to get commissioned in December 1954 in the IAF. His first posting was to No. 17 Squadron at Adampur flying Vampire FB52s. He later went on to fly the Mysteres.
Selected for the QFI course, he went to the Flying Instructors school in 1960 to Jodhpur.
After completing this stint, Kaul went on to No. 3 Squadron flying Mysteres at Pathankot. He was involved in the Operations right from Sept 1st, when the first Mystere sorties were launched against Pakistani Army formations in Chamb.
After the war, promoted to the rank of Wing Commander in 1970, Kaul took over No. 37 Squadron then flying the Hawker Hunter. No. 37 was based at Hashimara before the outbreak of war in 1971. No. 37 was involved in recce sorties even before full scale hostilities had broken out. Kaul had done extensive recce missions in the Comilla, Sylhet and Saidpur sectors.
On the first day of the full scale hostilities, No. 37 Squadron carried out a four aircraft raid against Dhaka airfield. They were met with F-86 Sabres of the PAF, but not only did Kaul's formation gave the slip to the Sabres, but also one of Kauls wingmen, Fg Offr Jayendra shot down a F-86 Sabre. Further missions were flown during the war in which Kaul led from the forefront.
After the war, Kaul took over as the COO of AF Station Pune. His first station command was Air Force station at Bareilly, which was home to two of the leading Electronic Warfare and Strategic Recce Squadrons in the IAF. A stint as the Air Attache in the Indian Embassy at Moscow followed during 1982 till 1986.
After his return from Moscow he was posted as the Director of Personnel (Officers) at the Air Headquarters at New Delhi. He was then made the senior Air Staff Officer at the South Western Air Command at Jodhpur in the rank of Air Vice Marshal.
Around 1989 he was appointed as the SASO in CAC at Allahabad and later in February 1991 he became AOC-in-C of the Central Air Command and he remained on this post up to 30 April 1992. He received the Param Vishisht Seva Medal in 1992 in recognition of his distinguished services of the most exceptional order. On 18th May 1992 he was appointed as the AOC-in-C of the Western Air Command, which is the largest and one of the most important operational commands of the IAF.
On 31st July 1993, he was appointed as the Chief of the Air Staff. He retired from this post on 21 December 1995 after putting in 42 years of active service in the Indian Air Force. In November 1994, he was also appointed as Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee.
He has over 3700 hours of accident free flying record to his credit from the Vampires in the 1950s to the latest MiG-23, Jagaur, MiG-29, and Mirage-2000 aircrafts.