Birender Singh Dhanoa
Air Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa has taken over as the Vice Chief of the Indian Air Force. He succeeds Air Marshal Ravi Kant Sharma who demitted the office, after 40 years of service in the IAF. Dhanoa was commissioned in the IAF in June 1978 as a fighter pilot. Dhanoa, a Kargil war veteran, is an alumnus of Rashtriya Indian Military College, the National Defence Academy and the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington.
During the Kargil operations, he commanded a fighter squadron and himself flew numerous night-strike missions in the mountainous terrain. He served as Station Commander of a fighter base and leader of an Indian Military Training Team abroad in his career.
Prior to being appointed as Vice Chief of the Air Staff, the Air Marshal was the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the South Western Air Command. Air Marshal R K Dhir takes over as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of South-Western Air Command.
The highest rank in the IAF is Marshal of the Air Force. Currently, the position is held by Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha.
The Hindustan Aeronautics HF-24 Marut was India’s first jet aircraft, took first flight on 17 June 1961.
Indian Air Force has Five Operational Commands. They are
- Central Air Command (CAC), headquartered at Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh
- Eastern Air Command (EAC), headquartered at Shillong, Meghalaya
- Southern Air Command (SAC), headquartered at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
- South Western Air Command (SWAC), headquartered at Gandhinagar, Gujarat
- Western Air Command (WAC), headquartered at New Delhi