INDIA. Mumbai: Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari took over as the 27 th Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) from outgoing CAS Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, at a ceremony held at Air Headquarters, Vayu Bhawan, in New Delhi on Thursday.
The transition ceremony was marked by a ceremonial Guard of Honour for the new CAS after which he officially took over the appointment of CAS with the Principal Staff officers of Air Hqrs in attendance.
An alumnus of the National Defence Academy (NDA), Chaudhari, was commissioned in December 1982 in the fighter stream of the IAF. He has flown over 3800 hours on multiple fighters and trainer aircraft.
During his career spanning almost four decades, he has tenanted many significant command and staff appointments. He has commanded a MiG-29 Squadron, two Air Force Stations, and Western Air Command. His staff appointments include Deputy Chief of Air Staff, Senior Air Staff Officer at HQ Eastern Air Command, Assistant Chief of Air Staff Operations (Air Defence), Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Personnel Officers), Deputy Commandant of Air Force Academy, and Air Assistant to Chief of the Air Staff.
A Cat ‘A’ Qualified Flying Instructor, he has served as an instructor at Flying Training Establishments and has also been an Air Force Examiner. He was a pioneer member of the Suryakiran Aerobatic Display Team. An alumnus of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, he has served as a Directing Staff there. He has also served as Directing Staff at DSCSC in Zambia. Before assuming the present appointment, he was the Vice Chief of the Air Staff.
He is a recipient of Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM), Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM), Vayu Sena Medal (VM), and is honorary ADC to the President of India.
In his address to the IAF, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari said that he was honored and privileged to have been entrusted with the responsibility of leading the Indian Air Force. Extending greetings to all Air Warriors, Non-Combatants (Enrolled), DSC personnel, civilians, and their families, CAS expressed absolute faith and confidence in their ability to accomplish all assigned tasks with resolute dedication while maintaining IAF’s operational capability at an all-time high.
Outlining the focus areas for Commanders and personnel, CAS said, “Protection of our Nation’s sovereignty and integrity is to be ensured at any cost”. He added that enhancement of operational capability through integration of newly inducted platforms, weapons, and equipment with existing assets and dovetailing the same in concepts of operations would remain a priority area. He spoke on aspects of the acquisition of new technology, promotion of indigenization and innovation, strengthening of cyber security, rapid adaptation of training methods to meet future demands, and sustained work to nurture human resources. CAS urged all to “always uphold the ethos and credo of the ‘Air Warrior’, and strive to be an asset to the IAF in any role tasked for”.
Mid year refit and infrastructure review
In another development, the Indian Navy’s mid-year refit and infrastructure progress review meetings for the Western Naval Command were held in Mumbai on Tuesday and Wednesday. The meeting was inaugurated by Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-IN-C), Western Naval Command on Tuesday.
The review meetings were chaired by Vice Admiral Sandeep Naithani, AVSM, VSM, Chief of Materiel (COM) and attended by several representatives from Naval Headquarters, Headquarters Western Naval Command, Naval Dockyard (Mumbai), Naval Ship Repair Yard (Karwar), Director General Naval Projects, Naval Trial Teams and Material Organisation (Mumbai).
After the inaugural address by FOC-in-C, WNC, Vice Admiral Sandeep Naithani, AVSM, VSM, Chief of Materiel (COM), in his address, emphasized on ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ by conscious reduction of dependence on foreign OEMs and enhancing in-house technical expertise in ship refits and infrastructure augmentation. One of the focus areas of this year’s review was enhancing and widening shore support to naval ships and submarines.
In addition, deliberations on refit plans of WNC ships and submarines, discussions on existing maintenance policies, and review of infrastructure augmentation plans to meet the growing requirements of the Navy were also taken up for discussions as agenda points by the forum. Further, support facilities being developed at Naval Base Karwar were also reviewed by the Chief of Material.