New Delhi: The government has effected a major reshuffle in the top Indian Air Force (IAF) positions with Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar taking over as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C), Eastern Air Command. Air Marshal V.R. Chaudhari has been appointed the Deputy Chief of the Air Staff, while Air Marshal Amit Dev is the Director General Air (Operations) and Air Marshal Harjit Singh Arora is the South Western AOC-in-C.
Nambiar was commissioned in the IAF as fighter pilot in June 1981. He is an Experimental Test Pilot and has flown 42 types of aircraft as Pilot in Command. He has the distinction of having the highest number of flying hours on the Mirage-2000 in the IAF, with over 2,300 flying hours on the aircraft to his credit, and has a total of 5,100 hours of flying experience. He is a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and was the Project Test Pilot for the Light Combat Aircraft ‘Tejas’.
Chaudhari was commissioned into the fighter stream of the IAF in December 1982. He has flown MiG-21, MiG-23MF, MiG-29 and SU-30MKI with a flying experience of over 3,800 hours. He is a ‘Cat A’ qualified flying instructor. The Air Marshal has undertaken numerous air defence missions during Operation Meghdoot and Operation Safed Sagar. Dev was commissioned in the IAF in the fighter stream of the flying branch in December 1982. He has flown various types of fighter and trainer aircraft in the inventory of IAF and has approximately 2,500 hours of flying experience. Arora was commissioned in the IAF as a fighter pilot in December 1981. He has rich and diverse experience of accident-free operational flying which includes MiG 21, MiG 29 and other aircraft in IAF inventory, including helicopters. (IANS)