NEW DELHI: Indian Air force is poised for a major reshuffle at the top level on August 1, 2020, with five Air Marshals taking charge at new positions. This will be set in motion after the retirement of Air Marshal B Suresh on July 30.
Air Marshal (Air Mshl) VR Chaudhari will take charge as Air Officer Commanding in Chief (AOC-in-C) of the Western Air Command (WAC) with Air Mshl B Suresh retiring on July 30. WAC is the sword arm of the IAF and is mandated to secure large areas falling on the western borders with Pakistan and the Northern Borders with China.
The current standoff with China at the Line of Actual Control in the Eastern Ladakh falls under the area of responsibility of the WAC. Air Force has already deployed its frontline fighters like the Sukhoi 30, Mirage 2000, Jaguars at airbases which will take less time to react in case of any eventuality at the LAC.
Air Marshal Chaudhari will be the youngest CinC as on August 1 and is in line for the next Chief of Air Staff. He is currently serving as the Senior Air Staff Officer (SASO) of the Eastern Air Command.
As per sources, four more Air Marshals will be picking up new appointments on August 1 with Air Mashl GS Bedi taking charge as the new SASO of the Eastern Air Command. Air Mshl J Chalapati will be the new SASO, Southern Air Command, Air Marshal IP Vipin Commandant, Air Force Academy. The same day Air Vice Marshal (AVM) DK Patnaik will be promoted to the rank of Air Marshal and will be posted as the SASO, Central Air Command.
Indian Air Force is headquartered in New Delhi. For effective air security of the country and command and control, the IAF has seven commands, under which there are different stations and units located at various places throughout the country. The seven Air Commands are Western, Eastern, Central, South Western, Southern, Training Command and the Maintenance Command.
Another round of big change is due for October 1, with four more Air Marshals taking up new responsibilities. Air Mshl Amit Dev will be going as the AOC-IN-C Eastern Air Command, Air Marshal RD Mathur will be AOC-IN-C Training Command and Air Mshl RJ Duckworth Air Officer in Charge Personnel (AOP). AVM V Singh will be picking his rank the same day and is expected to be posted as the SASO WAC.