On Tuesday, the government appointment Vice Chief of the Air Staff Air Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari as the next Chief of the Air Staff (CAS). Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria, who is current Chief of Air staff, is going to retire on September 30.
A Bharat Bhushan Babu Defence Ministry spokesman, tweeted, “Government has decided to appoint Air Marshal V R Chaudhari, PVSM, AVSM, VM presently Vice Chief of Air Staff as the next Chief of Air Staff.”
This year on 1 july, Chaudhari had taken over as the vice chief ,after Air Marshal HS Arora retired. He is a recipient of the Vayu Sena Medals, the Param Vishisht Seva Medal and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal.
With a a flying experience of more than 3,800 hours, in 1982 he has commissioned in the fighter stream of the IAF, he has flying experience on a wide variety of fighter and trainer aircraft, including missions flown during Operation Meghdoot, the Air Force’s support to capture Siachen glacier in 1980s, and Operation Safed Sagar, the support provided by the IAF during the Kargil conflict in 1999.
An alumnus of the National Defence Academy and Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, Chaudhari has commanded a frontline fighter squadron and a fighter base during his career. He has also held various other positions including the Deputy Commandant, Air Force Academy; Assistant Chief of Air Staff Operations (Air Defence) and Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Personnel Officers).
Earlier, he was the Deputy Chief of the Air Staff at Air HQ and Senior Air Staff Officer at the Eastern Air Command. He served as the commander-in-chief of the Western Air Command – the largest air command of the IAF responsible for parts of both the borders with Pakistan and China, before he wad appointed as vice chief.
He has been a chief test pilot for the indigenously designed Light Combat Aircraft Tejas. He has flying experience on 26 types of fighters and transport aircraft. He headed the Contract Negotiating Committee for the Rafale jets deal and was later among the first pilots of the Indian Air Force to fly the Rafale jets.
In September 2018, Bhadauria, had taken over from BS Dhanoa. Bhadauria was all set to retire on that day but after his appointment as the chief, he had a two-year tenure more. In june 1980, he won the sword of Honour when he was commissioned in the fighter stream of the Air Force and he had stood at the top in the overall order of merit.