Indian Air Force: Air Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhary has been named as the new head of Western Air Command of Indian Air Force, which looks after the country’s defence in North India, including Ladakh region where Indian Army has been in a tense military stand-off with the Chinese PLA for the last three months.
Air Marshal VR Chaudhary, who is currently serving as senior air staff officer in Eastern Air Command, will take over on August 1 following the superannuation of Air Marshal B Suresh.
Air Marshal Chaudhary already has the experience of handling China border as he has been heading Shillong based Eastern Air Command since October last year. Air Marshal Chaudhary also played crucial role in finalizing the government-to-government deal with France to acquire 36 Rafale fighters to meet the urgenl operational needs of Indian Air Force.
His appointment as chief of the WAC comes when Indian Air Force has been trying to support Indian Army as it faces an aggressive Chinese PLA in Galwan Valley region. Indian Army has lost one colonel and 19 soldiers in a violent face-off with Chinese Army in Galwan Valley region on June 15 in which an unconfirmed number of Chinese soldiers were also killed.
The IAF has been carrying out nighttime combat air patrols over the eastern Ladakh region in the last few weeks.
Indian Air Force has already deployed almost all its frontline fighter jets like Sukhoi 30 MKI, Jaguar and Mirage 2000 aircraft in frontier bases in Ladakh as well as in several other places along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Air Marshal VR Chaudhary to take charge of Western Air Command
An alumni of the National Defence Academy, Air Marshal Chaudhari was commissioned into the fighter stream of the IAF on December 29, 1982.
He has flown a range of aircraft including MiG-21, MiG-23MF, MiG-29 and SU-30MKI.
Air Marshal Chaudhary is a CA-A qualified with over 3,800 hours of flying experience in different kind of fighter aircrafts.
Before taking charge as senior air staff officer of the IAF’s Eastern Air Command, he was the DCAS at Air Headquarters in New Delhi.
A fighter pilot, Air Marshal Chaudhary has been decorated with Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and Vishisht Seva Medal.