New Delhi: Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria has taken charge as the 26th Chief of the Air Staff of India at a ceremony held at Air Headquarters (Vayu Bhawan) on Monday.
In his address to the IAF, Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria said, “I feel honoured and privileged to have been entrusted with the responsibility of leading one of the finest Air Forces in the world. I draw immense strength from exceptional achievements and remarkable leadership shown by my illustrious predecessors who built the Indian Air Force. I convey my sincere gratitude to Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa for his vision, untiring efforts and extra ordinary leadership in bringing glory to the IAF and the Nation.”
‘Focus would be on operationalising new platforms/equipment’
The new Chief of Air Staff of India added, “The focus of the IAF shall be to rapidly operationalise newly inducted platforms and equipment as well as to ensure earliest and complete integration of these capabilities in IAF’s operational plans. There shall be impetus on modernisation through acquisition of crucial technologies and critical capabilities with increased reliance on indigenous design and development. We shall proactively promote indigenisation for sustenance of all existing fleets and equipment.
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He also laid stress on the importance of training as well the safety of the aircraft and other war fighting equipment.
Chief of Air Staff of India has flown 4,270 hours on 27 fighters
An alumnus of the prestigious National Defence Academy, Bhadauria graduated from the Air Force Academy with the coveted ‘Sword of Honour’ and was commissioned in the fighter stream of IAF on June 15, 1980.
He has over 4,270 hours of experience on 27 types of fighters as well as transport aircraft. He 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.
Awards and accolades
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 the Honorary Air Force ADC to the President on January 1 this year.