Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria has been appointed as the next Chief of Air Staff, the government announced on Thursday. He will succeed B S Dhanoa in the office. Bhadauria currently is the Vice Chief of Air Staff.
"Government has decided to appoint Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria, PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC presently Vice Chief of Air Staff as the next Chief of the Air Staff after the retirement of Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, VM, ADC on 30th September 2019," the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.
Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, the 25th Chief of the Air Staff of the Indian Air Force, is due to retire on September 30. He took over as the Chief of the Air Staff on January 1, 2017.
His successor, Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria, was commissioned into the fighter stream of Indian Air Force on June 5, 1980, with the 'Sword of Honour', and has held various Command, Staff and Instructional appointments at various levels.
Bhadauria served as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C), Southern Air Command from March 2017 August 2018. He also served as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C), Training Command from August 2018 and held the office till his elevation to the Vice Chief of the Air Staff in May this year.
As Deputy Chief, Bhadauria played a crucial role in finalising the Rafale deal with France. He also was among the very first Indian Air Force officers to fly the advanced fighter jet.
In his career, Bhadauria has been honoured with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM), the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM), and the Vayu Sena Medal (VSM). He was appointed honorary Aide-De-Camp (ADC) to the President of India in January this year.