Southern Western Air CommandJai Shree Varte Veeram, meaning victory garlands the gallant, is a bye word to the soul and spirit of one of the most operational commands of the Indian Air Force, the South Western Air Command.

Originally established as No 1 Operational Group at Jodhpur on 21 Sep 1972, it was subsequently rechristened as the South Western Air Command on 23 Jul 1980. The operational area, carved out of the Western Air Command, included most of Rajasthan and the entire Gujarat. he crest of the South Western Air Command depicts the national emblem on the top as a pendant of a garland of flowers with "Dakshin Paschim Vayu Kaman" encrypted inside in a semi circle. The centre is adorned by a dagger with wings. At the base, under the inscription 'Bharatiya Vayu Sena', is a scroll with the command motto "Jai Shree Varte Veeram".

In a major expansion in the mid eighties, the units located at Pune and Mumbai were transferred from Central Air Command. 

Goa area of Southern Air Command was also added to the jurisdiction of this Command. Thus, the entire south western area of the country came under the air defence umbrella of SWAC. Keeping in view the increasing operational importance of the command, it was decided by Air HQ to move the Command Headquarters from Jodhpur to Gandhinagar. The new HQ was inaugurated on 01 May 1998 by the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Keshubhai Patel. The grand ceremony held on the occasion included a fly past by fighters and helicopters, an aerobatics display by SU-30 and Surya Kiran aircraft and a free fall display by the Akash Ganga para-jumping team.

The old MLAs' Hostel in Sector - 9, Gandhinagar, where the SWAC HQ is situated, has been suitably renovated. With well equipped offices, properly maintained lawns and roads, and other facilities, it is a beautiful place to work in. The construction of new buildings and infrastructure work has started at Chiloda. In year or two HQ SWAC will shift to its new location near Gandhinagar.

Chiloda Project

The IAF has acquired 258 acres of land at Chiloda near Gandhinagar for this project. The Bhoomi Poojan and Plantation Ceremony was held on 29 Jan 08.


The acquired land is located close to village Chiloda and is approximately 35 KM from Ahmedabad and 7 KM from the present Command HQ complex in Sector - 9 Gandhinagar.

Bhoomi Poojan and Plantation Ceremony at Chiloda
Bhoomi Poojan and Plantation Ceremony at Chiloda

Air Mshl KD Singh PVSM AVSM ADC AOC-in-C SWAC, IAF & Mrs Neelam Singh President AFWWA (R) at Bhoomi Poojan and Plantation Ceremony at Chiloda on 29 Jan 08

Project Management

Project management team consisting of Air force & MES officers & staff has been formed for close monitoring & smooth execution of the works services of OTM accommodation.

Master Plan

When fully developed, the campus would have the entire gamut of facilities required for the functioning of HQ SWAC. These include:-

  • Command HQ building.
  • SWAC(U) buildings.
  • Officers' Mess and living in accommodation.
  • SNCOs' Mess and living in accommodation.
  • Airmen Mess and living in accommodation.
  • Airmen's institute.
  • SMC, SHO and Family Welfare Centre.
  • Shopping Complex, Bank and Post Office.
  • Sports facilities including swimming pool, gymnasium, squash court, badminton court, and play grounds.
  • State of art fully air conditioned auditorium with a seating capacity of 1200.
  • War memorial.
  • Religious places.
  • CE(AF) office complex.
  • GE(AF) office complex.
  • MES Officers' Mess.
  • Facilities for electric and water supply and central sewage treatment plant.
  • Parade ground.
  • Helipad with mini ATC.
  • 923 houses in 17 multi storey blocks for air warriors of HQ SWAC and collocated units.
  • A nine hole golf course has also been planned in the Chiloda camp.

Work services for the above facilities are in progress and efforts are on to complete the construction by Dec 2010.

South Western Air Command is dedicated to securing the inviolability of the Indian Skies and to ensure the integrity of airspace above the nation's land and sea territories within its area of responsibility. Since its inception, SWAC, one of the premier operational commands of the IAF, has ceaselessly operated in peace and war and has never let down its guard. Indeed, an Air arm can never afford to lessen its pace of operational activities and readiness, flying by day and night through all seasons. Avionics is developing at an ever quickening pace bringing into its fold a whole new breed of airmen with their astounding expertise, steely toughness and undaunted courage. Indeed South Western Air Command lives by its motto 'Jai Shree Varte Veeram'.

Name of AOsC (No. 1 Op Group)

Name From To
Air Vice Mshl D Subia PVSM VrC 01 Nov 72 26 Jun 74
Air Mshl EJ Dhatigara PVSM KC 27 Jun 74 28 Feb 76
Air Mshl Randhir Singh PVSM AVSM VrC 01 Mar 76 13 Sep 76
Air Mshl Dilbagh Singh AVSM VM 14 Sep 76 28 Aug 78
Air Mshl JR Bhasin PVSM AVSM VM 29 Aug 78 22 Jul 80

Name of AOC-in-C

Name From To
Air Mshl JR Bhasin AVSM VM 23 Jul 80 30 Jun 83
Air Mshl CV Gole AVSM VM ADC 01 Jul 83 31 Oct 84
Air Mshl S Raghavendran PVSM AVSM ADC 01 Nov 84 06 Jan 86
Air Mshl PP Singh PVSM MVC AVSM ADC 08 Jan 86 28 Feb 87
Air Mshl SK Mehra PVSM AVSM VM ADC 01 Mar 87 30 Jul 88
Air Mshl PK Dey PVSM AVSM ADC 01 Aug 88 31 Mar 92
Air Mshl BD Jayal PVSM AVSM VM & Bar ADC 01 Apr 92 30 Sep 93
Air Mshl SK Sareen PVSM VM 06 Oct 93 03 Jun 94
Air Mshl KC Cariappa PVSM VM ADC 06 Jun 94 31 Jan 96
Air Mshl SR Despande PVSM AVSM VM ADC 01 Feb 96 30 Nov 97
Air Mshl S Krishnaswamy PVSM AVSM VM & Bar ADC 01 Dec 97 31 Oct 99
Air Mshl VK Bhatia PVSM AVSM Vr C & Bar ADC 01 Nov 99 31 Jul 01
Air Mshl M McMahon PVSM AVSM VM ADC 01 Aug 01 31 Jan 03
Air Mshl SP Tyagi PVSM AVSM VM ADC 01 Feb 03 14 Nov 03
Air Mshl AR Ghandhi PVSM AVSM Vr C 17 Nov 03 30 Jun 04
Air Mshl SK Jain PVSM AVSM VM ADC 12 Jul 04 28 Feb 06
Air Mshl PK Mehra PVSM AVSM VM ADC 01 Feb 06 30 Apr 07
Air Mshl KD Singh PVSM AVSM ADC 01 May 07 30 Sep 09