New Delhi: (New Air Chief joined) Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari took over as The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) at a ceremony at Air Headquarters (Vayu Bhawan) on Thursday. The new CAS succeeded Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, who completed the two-year term on September 30. An alumnus of NDA, the CAS was commissioned in December 1982 in the fighter stream of the IAF. He has flown more than 3800 hours on multiple fighters and trainer aircraft.
During his career spanning almost four decades, the CAS 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. Prior to assuming the present appointment, he was the Vice Chief of the Air Staff.
CAS 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 honoured 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".