Air Cheif Marshal BS Dhanoa retires, RKS Bhadauria takes over

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Highlights

  • Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa(PVSM, AVSM, YSM, VM, ADC) was the 25th chief of Air Staff of the Indian Air Force. He served from 31 December 2016 to 30 September 2019.
  • He was also appointed as the Chiefs of Staff Committee which will now be hand over to Chief of Army Staff- General Bipin Rawat.
  • Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria (PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC) who was serving as the Vice Chief of Air Staff, will be appointed as the next Air Chief Marshal.

Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa who was serving as the Air Chief Marshal, as well as the Chief of the Staff Committee, took retirement. Now, Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhaduaria will be appointed as Chief of Air Marshal and the post of Chief of Staff Committee will be given to General Bipin Rawat.

BS Dhanoa was the Air Chief Marshal during Balakot airstrikes, in order to retaliate for the Pulwama attack that had killed over 40 CRPF soldiers. A Kargil veteran, BS Dhanoa was appointed as Air Cheif Marshal in early 2017, taking over from Arup Raha. After serving the nation for forty years he decided to take retirement and now his post of Air Chief Marshal will be taken over by vice- chief Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria.

Air Marshal Bhadauria, who flew Tejas fighter jet as a young pilot, and was the first IAF officers to fly French-based Rafale Jet. He will be serving as the chief for the next two years. His previous appointments including Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of both the Southern Air Command and the Training Command. He negotiated for the purchase of 36 Rafale jets that will be delivered to the IAF by early 2020.

He has been serving the nation since 1980. He graduated from the National Defense Academy and won the most prestigious award- Sword of Honor. Rakesh Singh Bhadauria is a highly decorated officer who has won numerous gallantry awards like Param Vishist Seva Medal, Ati Visisht Seva Medal and Vayu Sena Medal.

The Air chief has 4,250 hours of flying experience on 26 different types of fighter jets and transport aircraft. He flew the Rafale aircraft during Exercise Garuda that took place between Air forces of India and its ally France.

He devised a method for bombarding from the Jaguar aircraft using GPS(Global Positioning System). This method was relevant during Operation Safed Sagar- the aircraft mission of the Kargil War.

He also served as the Air attache in Indian Embassy located in Moscow, Commandant of the National Defense Academy and Air Officer Commanding chief in Southern Command.

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