Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria PVSM AVSM VM ADC
Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria
PVSM AVSM VM ADC
30 Sep 2019 - 30 Sep 2021
Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria PVSM AVSM VM ADC took over as the Chief of the Air Staff on 30 September 2019. An alumnus of the prestigious National Defence Academy, he graduated from the Air Force Academy with the coveted ‘Sword of Honour’ and was commissioned in the fighter stream of Indian Air Force on 15 June 1980.
He has over 4270 hours of experience on twenty seven types of fighters as well as transport aircraft and holds the unique distinction of being an Experimental Test Pilot, a Cat 'A' Qualified Flying Instructor and a Pilot Attack Instructor. He completed his Masters in Defence Studies from Command and Staff College, Bangladesh.
During his illustrious career, spanning almost four decades, the Air Chief Marshal has held a number of significant field and staff appointments which include Command of a front line Jaguar Squadron, Command of a premier Air Force Station in South-Western sector, Commanding Officer of Flight Test Squadron at Aircraft & System Testing Establishment and Chief Test Pilot as well as Project Director of National Flight Test Centre on Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) project. He was extensively involved in the initial prototype flight testing on the LCA. He has tenanted the appointments of Air Attaché Moscow, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Projects), Commandant National Defence Academy, Senior Air Staff Officer at Central Air Command, Deputy Chief of the Air Staff, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Air Command and Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Training Command. Prior to taking over as the Chief of the Air Staff, he held the appointment of the Vice Chief of the Air Staff.
In recognition of his meritorious service the Air Chief Marshal has been awarded the Vayu Sena Medal (VM) in 2002, Ati Vishist Seva Medal (AVSM) in 2013 and Param Vishist Seva Medal (PVSM) in 2018. He was appointed as Principal Honorary ADC to the President of India on 01 October 2019.
Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa PVSM AVSM YSM VM ADC
Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa
PVSM AVSM YSM VM ADC
01 Jan 2017 - 30 Sep 2019
Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa PVSM AVSM YSM VM ADC took over as the Chief of the Air Staff on 31 December 2016. He was commissioned in the IAF in June 1978 as a fighter pilot. He is an alumnus of Rashtriya Indian Military College, the National Defence Academy and the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington.
The Air Chief Marshal has mainly flown the MiG-21 aircraft with flying experience across the entire spectrum of Fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force. During the Limited War in Kargil (1999), as the Commanding Officer of 17 Sqn (Golden Arrows), a ground attack fighter squadron, he led the IAF in evicting the enemy from their dug in defences in the icy heights of Kargil region. For his bravery, courage and innovative methodology of night bombing in mountainous region, he was awarded the Yudh Seva Medal.
As the Chief of the Air Staff, he headed the IAF as it executed Air Strikes over Balakot deep inside Pakistani territory in February 2019. The success of these strikes was ensured through his relentless efforts to train, equip and focus IAF operations towards retaining its dominant power. Pan-India exercises like Gagan-Shakti and Vayu Shakti ensured that the IAF was prepared to act on a short notice for any duty in service of the nation. His tenure at the helm of the IAF has seen several inductions (Chinook, Apache, Rafale, S-400 etc) and he has actively pursued the required procurement of necessary equipment and weapon systems for the IAF. As the Chairman COSC, he has laid emphasis on enhancing synergy amongst the forces. Importantly, he is making invaluable and insightful contributions in the Implementation Committee for Appointment of CDS.
In recognition for his meritorious service the Air Chief Marshal has been awarded the Yudh Seva Medal (YSM), Vayu Sena Medal (VM), Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) and Param Vishist Seva Medal (PVSM). He was appointed Principal Honourary ADC to the President of India on 01 January 2017. The Air Chief Marshal has been appointed as the Chairman, Chiefs of the Staff Committee on 31 May 19.
Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha PVSM AVSM VM ADC
Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha
PVSM AVSM VM ADC
01 Jan 2014 - 31 Dec 2016
Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha PVSM AVSM VM ADC graduated from the National Defence Academy, Pune with the President's Gold Medal in 1973 and was commissioned in the Flying Branch in Dec 1974.
Air Chief Marshal Raha is an experienced fighter pilot. He is a Cat A Qualified Flying Instructor and a Fighter Combat Leader with nearly 3400 hrs of flying experience, mainly on fighter aircraft. He has served as a Directing Staff at two premier institutes of IAF, Flying Instructors School and the Tactics and Combat Development Establishment. He has functioned as an inspector in the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection in Air Headquarters and as Staff Officer to the Chief of the Air Staff. He was deputed as the Military and Air Attaché in the Embassy of India, Kyiv, Ukraine from 1999 to 2001. He has held many operational assignments such as Commanding Officer of a MiG-29 Squadron, Station Commander of Air Force Station Bhatinda in Punjab during 'OP PARAKRAM', Air Officer Commanding Air Force Station Adampur and Advance Headquarters Western Air Command, Chandimandir. He has also served as the Deputy Commandant Air Force Academy, Hyderabad and Senior Air Staff Officer at Headquarters Western Air Command. He has the rare distinction of being the Air Officer Commanding in Chief of two Operational Commands i.e. Central Air Command and the Western Air Command. Before taking over as Chief of the Air Staff, he held the appointment of Vice Chief of the Air Staff. He has been the Commodore Commandant of No. 47 Squadron till 30 July 2015.
Air Chief Marshal Raha is an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College and the National Defence College, Delhi. For his distinguished service, he has been awarded Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and Vayu Sena Medal. He was appointed as Honorary Aide-de-Camp (Air) to the Hon’ble President of India wef 01 Dec 2012. Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha PVSM AVSM VM ADC has been appointed as the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee on 31 Jul 14.
Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne, PVSM AVSM VM ADC
Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne
PVSM AVSM VM ADC
02 Aug 2011 - 31 Dec 2013
Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne PVSM AVSM VM was commissioned into the fighter stream of the IAF in June 1972. He has flown various jet aircraft including Hunters, all variants of MiG-21s, Jaguar and Su-30K. He is Fighter Combat Leader who also served as an instructor at the Tactics and Combat Development Establishment (TACDE).
Air Chief Marshal Browne has a rich experience of operational flying, training and staff assignments. He was trained with the RAF in UK on Jaguar aircraft in 1979 and commanded a Jaguar Squadron during 1990-92. He is a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College, USA (1987-88) and also served as Directing Staff at the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington during 1989-90.
He served as Staff Officer to Chief of the Air Staff during 93-95 and as Joint Director at Air War Strategy Cell at Air Headquarters in 95-96. The Air Chief was responsible for establishing the Indian Defence Wing in Tel-Aviv, Israel in April 1997 where he served as the Defence Attaché till July 2000. Subsequently, he served as the Chief Operations Officer of the first Su-30 Base at Pune and went on to command the same Base during 2000-03. It was during this period that the multi-role Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft was inducted into the IAF. He served as the Air-I at HQ Western Air Command from 2003-04 and from October 04 - March 07 he was the ACAS (Intelligence) at Air Headquarters. On 05 March 07 the Air Officer was promoted to the rank of Air Marshal and appointed as Deputy Chief of the Air Staff responsible for major modernization programmes in the IAF. On 01 Jun 09, he assumed the command of Western Air Command as the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief. He took over as Vice Chief of the Air Staff on 01 Jan 11. On 31 Jul 11, he was promoted to the rank of Air Chief Marshal and assumed the Command of Indian Air Force as Chief of the Air Staff. The Air Chief has been awarded the Param Vishist Seva Medal (PVSM), Ati Vishist Seva Medal (AVSM), Vayu Sena Medal (VM) and Honorary Air ADC by the President of India.
Air Chief Marshal Browne is an alumnus of National Defence Academy.
Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Vasant Naik, PVSM VSM ADC
Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Vasant Naik
PVSM VSM ADC
31 May 2009 - 31 Jul 2011
Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Vasant Naik, PVSM VSM, was born on 22 July 1949 and commissioned into the Indian Air Force on 21 June 1969. After initial schooling in Sainik School Satara, he graduated with the 33 Course from the National Defence Academy.
In a distinguished career spanning forty years, the CAS has flown a wide variety of combat and trainer aircraft. After initial training on the HT-2, he has flown the Vampire and the Hunter, and has had extensive operational experience on all variants of the MiG-21. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor with vast instructional experience and a Fighter Combat Leader from the prestigious Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE). He was selected as one of the first eight pilots to convert on to the MiG-23 BN in the erstwhile USSR, and was responsible for its induction into the IAF. Besides commanding a front line fighter squadron, he has commanded an important fighter base and Air Force Station Bidar. He has been Directing Staff at TACDE and the Defence Services Staff College.
During his career, the Air Chief Marshal has held numerous important staff appointments at different Headquarters. He has been the Senior Air Staff Officer at HQ Western Air Command, the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Central Air Command and the Vice Chief of Air Staff, prior to his appointment as the Chief of the Air Staff.
The Air Chief Marshal is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, and an alumnus of the National Defence College. He is a recipient of the Param Vishisht Seva Medal and Vishisht Seva Medal. He has been appointed Honorary ADC to the Honourable President of India.
Air Chief Marshal FH Major PVSM AVSM SC VM ADC
Air Chief Marshal FH Major
PVSM AVSM SC VM ADC
31 Mar 2007 - 31 May 2009
Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major was born on 29 May 1947 in Secunderabad. He studied at Wesley High School, Secunderabad and was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on 31 Dec 1967.
The Air Chief Marshal has flown over 7000 hours on various aircraft & helicopters. As a Wing Commander, he commanded the IAF’s first Mi-17 Squadron, which operated at the Siachen Glacier – the World’s highest battlefield. As a Group Captain, he commanded another Mi-17 Squadron, leading it into battle during the operations of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka. For his leadership and courage during this tenure, he was awarded the Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry). Later, as Station Commander of Air Force Station Sarsawa, he led the daring rescue of eleven passengers from a stranded cable car in the middle of a valley in Himachal Pradesh. For this act of gallantry, he was awarded the ‘Shaurya Chakra’.
He has held a number of other important staff and field appointments – Joint Director (Helicopter Operations) and Director Operations (Transport & Helicopter). In 1999, he took over as the Air Officer Commanding Leh (Ladakh), in the aftermath of the Kargil conflict. For his leadership, successful accomplishment of tasks and distinguished service of a very high order, he was awarded the ‘Ati Vishist Seva Medal’ by the President of India in Jan 2002. He was promoted to the rank of Air Vice Marshal in Feb 2002 and appointed as Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Personnel Airmen & Civilians) at Air Headquarters. On promotion to the rank of Air Marshal in Jan 04 he moved to HQ Integrated Defence Staff as the Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff, Operations and directed the relief, rescue and rehabilitation operations of the Indian Armed Forces, in India and abroad, in the aftermath of the Tsunami. On 05 Sep 05, he was appointed as the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command. That tenure saw the successful conduct of three major international air exercises with the United States Air Force, Republic of Singapore Air Force and the French Air Force. He was awarded the ‘Param Vishisht Seva Medal’ by the President of India on 26 Jan 2006. He took over as the Chief of the Air Staff on 31 Mar 07.
He is a graduate of the National Defence College and Army War College.
Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi PVSM AVSM VM ADC
Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi
PVSM AVSM VM ADC
31 Dec 2004 - 31 Mar 2007
Born on 14 March 1945 at Indore in the state of Madhya Pradesh, Air Chief Marshal Shashindra Pal Tyagi did his schooling at St Xavier’s Jaipur. He was commissioned as a fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force on 31 December 1963.
The Air Chief Marshal has the distinction of having flown several types of fighter and transport aircraft and has logged over 3000 flying hours. His combat experience includes Combat Air Patrols, as well as Strike and interdiction missions during the 1965 Indo-Pak War. In the 1971 War, he flew MiG-21 aircraft on Air Defence missions.
He has held a number of important field appointments, which include Commanding Officer of a Jaguar Sqn and the Air Officer Commanding, Air Force Station Jamnagar. As the Defence Attaché in Saudi Arabia, he had a first-hand view of Operation Desert Storm. He has also held many important staff appointments including Director Air Defence, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Intelligence), Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Operations) at Air Headquarters and Senior Air Staff Officer, Central Air Command. He has been the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of three Operational Commands - the Central, South-Western and the Western Air Command. Air Chief Marshal Tyagi took over as the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee on 31 Oct 2006.
He is fond of outdoors and keeping fit. He holds the distinction of being the first ever to have earned ‘para wings’ as 'Chief'. He is a current and enthusiastic sky-diver. He functions through delegation, is a peoples’ man and a captivating orator. He is the recipient of the Presidential awards of Param Vishist Seva Medal, Ati Vishist Seva Medal and Vayu Sena Medal for his exemplary leadership and distinguished service.
Air Chief Marshal S Krishnaswamy PVSM, AVSM, VM & Bar
Air Chief Marshal S Krishnaswamy
PVSM AVSM VM & Bar
31 Dec 2001 - 31 Dec 2004
Air Chief Marshal Srinivasapuram Krishnaswamy was born in Chennai in January 1943 where he went through his schooling and college education.
He became the 19th Chief of the Air Staff on 31 December 2001. Air Chief Marshal S Krishnaswamy was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in 1961. He was operational on a number of combat aircraft including the Mirage 2000. He flew the Gnat fighter aircraft during the 1965 Indo-Pak War and was awarded Mention-in-Despatches for his contribution. Subsequently, he was sent to UK to undergo Test Pilots Course. On his return, he joined the Air Force Flight Test Centre– Aircraft and System Testing Establishment (ASTE).
Air Chief Marshal Krishnaswamy, as a test pilot, was involved in flight testing and evaluation of Military as well as civil aircraft and weapon systems. For his outstanding contribution in indigenous development programme, he received the 'Agni Award for Self Reliance' in August 1999. He has more than 4000 hours of flying experience and has captained over 30 varieties of aircraft and helicopters. He was also trained as a Fighter Combat Leader (FCL) and served as Senior Instructional Staff at the Tactics & Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE).
Air Chief Marshal Krishnaswamy specialised in Electronic Warfare (EW) and had the unique distinction of having raised and commanded the first EW Squadron of the Indian Air Force, comprising a mix of MiG-21 and Canberra aircraft. He has held a variety of operational and staff appointments during his career. Besides the command of a Squadron, he did a tenure as Chief Operations Officer of a Mirage-2000 base and commanded Air Force Station, Pune. In senior appointments, he has served as Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Plans), Deputy Chief of the Air Staff and Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of three Operational Commands viz, Central, South Western and Western Air Command. He took over as the Vice Chief of the Air Staff in August 2001.
A graduate of Defence Services Staff College, he is an alumnus of the National Defence College. Air Chief Marshal Krishnaswamy is a recipient of Param Vishist Seva Medal, Ati Vishist Seva Medal and a bar to Vayu Sena Medal.
Air Chief Marshal Anil Yashwant Tipnis PVSM AVSM VM ADC
Air Chief Marshal Anil Yashwant Tipnis
PVSM AVSM VM ADC
31 Dec 1998 - 31 Dec 2001
Anil Yashwant Tipnis was born on 15 September 1940. He joined the 15th Course of the National Defence Academy (NDA) in January 1956. After which he moved on, for flying training to the Air Force Flying College in January 1959.
Anil Yashwant Tipnis was commissioned into the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot on 28 May 1960. He finished his training with flying colors, receiving the coveted Majumdar Trophy for his excellent performance. The initial years of Tipnis' service were spent as an operational pilot in several frontline fighter squadrons.
His first posting was to a Hunter Squadron. In 1963, when Wg Cdr Dilbagh Singh (later Air Chief Marshal and CAS of the IAF) raised the first MiG-21 Squadron, Tipnis was one of the few pilots to be sent to No. 28 Squadron to fly the MiG-21s. He was still serving with the First Supersonics when war broke out in September 1965, and he served with the Squadron during its operations in the war.
In 1966 he graduated as a Pilot Attack Instructor (PAI) and won the Naronha Trophy for standing first. This was followed, in January 1970, by a deputation to Iraq as a PAI. On return he was posted as the Flight Commander of No. 45 Sqn which then served as a MiG-21 Operational Conversion Unit. He qualified as a Fighter Combat Leader at the IAF's prestigious Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) in 1973 winning the Sword of Honour. He continued on staff as a Flight Commander of the Combat Development and Training Flight.
In 1975, he underwent the Defence Services Staff Course at Wellington following which, in July 1977, he took over as the Commanding Officer of No. 23 Sqn equipped with MiG-21 Bis aircraft. Tipnis was one of the four officers short listed for the Indo-Soviet Joint Space mission. He underwent all the training required for the mission in the course of the final selection. After a couple of staff appointments and a stint at the National Defence Academy as the Chief Instructor (Air) and Battalion Commander, he was posted to France in October 1983 as the Team Leader for the Mirage Project Team in the rank of Group Captain, where he was responsible for the negotiation and purchase of the Mirage 2000 aircraft into the IAF.
On returning back to India three years later, he was posted to the Mirage 2000 base of the IAF, as the Air Officer Commanding, Air Force Station Gwalior in the rank of Air Commodore.
On promotion to the rank of Air Vice Marshal in June 1992, he was appointed the Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Inspection) at Air Headquarters. In June 1993, he took over as the Air Officer Commanding J&K area. On being promoted to the rank of Air Marshal in September 1994, he took over as the Senior Air Staff Officer (SASO) of Eastern Air Command and later, in February 1995, was posted as the SASO of Western Air Command, the largest operational command of the Indian Air Force. In August 1995, he assumed charge as AOC-in-C Western Air Command. He was appointed as the Vice Chief of the Air Staff (VCAS) in April 1997. On 31 December 1998, he was promoted as Air Chief Marshal and took over as the 18th Chief of the Air Staff.
His tenure saw the first deployment of Indian Air Force combat aircraft in action since the 1971 War. When the fighting at Kargil erupted, the IAF was deployed to attack intruders’ positions in the high altitude areas. Needless to say the IAF acquitted itself very well in these limited actions.
In his career in the Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Tipnis received the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and Vayu Sena Medal for distinguished service.
Air Chief Marshal Satish Kumar Sareen PVSM AVSM VM ADC
Air Chief Marshal Satish Kumar Sareen
PVSM AVSM VM ADC
31 Dec 1995 - 31 Dec 1998
Sareen joined the IAF in 1954, where he was part of the Joint Services Wing (JSW) in Dehradun. He graduated from the first batch of the JSW and was commissioned on 29 May 1957. He stood first among the fighter stream pilots and was awarded the Himmatsinghji trophy.
He was posted to No. 20 Squadron flying Vampire Fighters. He moved on to No. 4 Squadron flying the Ouragans. It was with No. 4 Squadron that he took part in the Goa Operations in 1961, when he flew several sorties against Portuguese targets. After the operations in Goa, Sareen took up his first non-operational appointment when he attended the Pilot Attack Instructor (PAI) course. He distinguished himself in the course and was retained as an instructor in the PAI program, where he helped impart training to others following in the same stream.
When war broke out in 1965, Sareen was with No. 29 Scorpios Squadron flying the Ouragans at Guwahati. He undertook some sorties against targets in East Pakistan. After the war, Sareen moved to No. 27 Flaming Arrows Squadron flying the Hawker Hunter.
He passed out of DSSC in November 1970. As a Squadron Leader, Sareen joined Eastern Air Command as the Chief Operations Officer with Agartala AFB in Tripura near the East Pakistan border.
Agartala was base to some Gnat fighters during the 1971 War. He was responsible for planning and launching extensive fighter, helicopter, and transport operations including several successful strikes on the Chittagong City. For his role, Sareen received the Vayu Sena Medal.
After the war, Sareen took over as Ops 1 with Eastern Air Command HQ. In 1973, he was posted to No. 1 Squadron flying MiG-21s in Adampur as Senior Flight Commander. After more than two years with the Squadron, Sareen received an opportunity to be posted to the Iraqi Air Force as an instructor
In 1977, Sareen was the Chief Operations Officer of No.15 Wing at Bareilly. He got his first command soon after at the same airbase, No. 24 Squadron flying the MiG-21 Bis. After promotion to Group Captain, in 1981, he took over an Air Defence Signals Unit in the Eastern Sector. Numerous staff appointments followed. He was Air Defence Commander, WAC and SWAC and Air Attaché to the High Commission of India, UK. In 1989, he returned to India and was commander of Srinagar Air Force Station in the Jammu Kashmir Valley. He was awarded the AVSM for distinguished service in 1990. Soon afterwards he took over as ACAS (Ops) at Air HQ in the rank of Air Vice Marshal.
After a short stint as SASO Central Air Command, Sareen took over South Western Air Command as AOC-in-C. After about a year, he moved on as the AOC-in-C Western Air Command - India's premier Air Command. It was in this capacity he received the PVSM in 1995. Sareen was posted back to Air HQ as the Vice Chief of the Air Staff, responsible for all IAF defensive offensive operations and intelligence activities.
Finally in December 1995, he was promoted to Air Chief Marshal to take over as the Chief of the Air Staff, Indian Air Force. His tenure saw the nuclear tests in Pokhran. Within the Air Force, it saw wide ranging changes in the strategic, operational, training, maintenance and flight safety doctrines performance of the IAF. Particular attention was paid to the welfare of serving and retired Air Force personnel and their families.