INDIA. Mumbai: On Tuesday, Air Marshal Vibhas Pande succeeded Air Marshal Shashiker Choudhary as the 37th Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Indian Air Force (IAF), taking up maintenance leadership.
After 38 years of honourable service in the IAF, Air Marshal Choudhary retired on May 31. At Maintenance Command at Vayusena Nagar, Nagpur, Maharashtra, Air Marshal Vibhas Pande received a guard of honour upon taking over the command.
All aircraft, helicopters, and other equipment are maintained, repaired, and overhauled under the command. It manages the overhaul and maintenance of various types of aircraft through its nine Base Repair Depots spread across the nation.
Air Marshal Pande was commissioned in the Aeronautical Engineering (Mechanical) branch on Aug 29, 1984. He is trained on MiG-23 BN and AN-32 aircraft as well as MI-17 helicopters. As a Flight Engineer, he has flown Mi-8 & Mi-17 helicopters and has been an Air Force Examiner for rotary-wing aircraft.
The officer is a recipient of the Ati Vishist Seva Medal and Vishist Seva Medal. He is a Post Graduate in Reliability Engineering from IIT Powai, Mumbai. He is also an alumnus of the College of Air Warfare, Hyderabad, and National Defence College, Delhi.
During his career spanning more than 37 years, he held the appointments of Senior Production Engineer at Base Repair Depot at Ojhar, Nasik (Maharashtra), Commanding Officer of Air Armament Inspection Wing, and Command Engineering Officer at Headquarters Western Air Command, New Delhi.
He had been the founding Commanding Officer of Central Indigenisation and Manufacturing Depot (CIMD) Nasik (Maharashtra). He has tenanted the appointments of Senior Maintenance Staff Officer at Headquarters Eastern Air Command (Shillong, Meghalaya), Assistant Chief of Air Staff (ACAS) Engineering (Transport and Helicopters), and Director General (Aircraft) at Air Headquarters. Before assuming his present appointment he was Air Officer-in-charge Maintenance (AOM) at Air Headquarters.
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