Raha Takes over as 24th IAF Chief
By Express News Service | Published: 01st January 2014 08:56 AM |
Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, the senior most fighter pilot, on Tuesday took over as the 24th chief of the Indian Air Force. He succeeded Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne, who retired, after over four decades of service. In his address to the IAF soon after taking over, Raha noted that the force was on “a trajectory of modernisation and is transforming into a strategic aerospace power with full spectrum capability.” He said he felt “honoured and privileged” to have been entrusted with the responsibility to lead “one of the finest” air forces in the world.
“Accretion through new acquisitions, replacement of obsolete equipment with state-of-the-art inductions and upgrade of the vintage weapon platforms would bolster our capabilities,” he said. “In-depth knowledge, proficiency and professional competence to harness the potential of new equipment would provide the necessary cutting edge in discharging our onerous tasks,” Raha told the air warriors.
“In this strategic transformation process, I expect sustained effort and special attention from all air warriors to maintain high operational status of the legacy equipment, while operationalising the new inductions in a time bound manner. This would obviously be achieved through exemplary leadership at all levels of the IAF,” he said.
“Our people are our most valuable assets. A strong, motivated and cohesive team is the key to our success. I exhort all air warriors to follow the fine traditions of this great service and ensure that we ‘Touch the Sky with Glory’,” he said.
Commissioned into the flying branch of the IAF in December 1974, Raha graduated from the Khadakvasla-based National Defence Academy (NDA) near Pune with the President’s Gold Medal in 1973. He has served as a Directing Staff at Flying Instructors Schoolat Tambaram as well as at the Gwalior-based Tactics and Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) of the IAF.