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Air Marshal Nambiar, decorated for gallantry in Kargil Ops, appointed AOC-in-C of Western Command

twitter-logoPTI | March 1, 2019 | Updated 21:43 IST

New Delhi, Mar 1 (PTI) Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar, who played a prominent role in the Kargil Operations, on Friday took over as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Western Air Command of the IAF, officials said. He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla, and was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the Indian Air Force as a Fighter Pilot on June 11, 1981, they said. "Air Marshal Nambiar took over as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Western Air Command on March 1," the IAF said in a statement. The Air Marshal reviewed a ceremonial Guard of Honour and outlined his vision for the Western Air Command. He exhorted all personnel to work with zeal and enthusiasm so as to enable Western Air Command to fulfil the objectives of the IAF and the nation at large. "Air Marshal Nambiar was awarded Vayu Sena Medal for gallantry by President of India for his prominent role in the Kargil Operations. He was awarded a Bar to the Vayu Sena Medal for flight testing the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) in 2002 during its first phase of flight," the statement said. Nambiar was commended by the Chief of Air Staff in 1991 and C-in-C of Strategic Force Command in 2005. He was conferred Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2015 and Param Vishisht Seva Medal on January 26, 2019, it said. The Air Marshal is an Experimental Test Pilot and has flown about 42 types of aircraft, the IAF said. "He has the distinction of having the highest number of flying hours to his credit on Mirage-2000 in the IAF, with over 2,300 flying hours on the aircraft and a total of 5,100 hours of flying experience," it said. He is a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and was the Project Test Pilot for the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, the IAF added. Air Marshal Nambiar has commanded the prestigious No. 1 Squadron. He was the Director of Space Applications at Air HQ, Principal Director of Offensive Operations and the Chief Operations Officer of Air Force Station Gwalior, officials said. He was posted to the Embassy of India in Israel as the Defence Attache. The Air Marshal has also held the coveted appointments of Air Officer Commanding, Air Force Station Jamnagar, Commandant ASTE, Air Defence Commander Western Air Command and Senior Air Staff Officer (SASO) of Southern Air Command, Training Command and Eastern Air Command, the statement said. He was also the Deputy Chief of the Air Staff at Air HQ. Before taking over as AOC-in-C of the Western Air Command, he was the AOC-in-C, Eastern Air Command, it said. Air Marshal Chandrashekharan Hari Kumar, having an illustrious career spanning over 39 years, retired on Thursday as the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command, the officials said. PTI KND KJ

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