Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria on Monday took charge as the 26th chief of the Indian Air Force. He succeeds Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, who retired after 41 years of service in the IAF.
Air Marshal Bhadauria was commissioned in the fighter stream of the Indian Air Force in June 1980, and has held various command, staff and instructional positions. An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Bhadauria was commissioned into the fighter stream of the IAF in June 1980 and won the coveted Sword of Honour for standing first in the overall order of merit.
During his nearly four-decade career, Bhadauria commanded a Jaguar squadron and a premier Air Force Station. He devised a method for carrying bombing from the Jaguar aircraft using the Global Positioning System (GPS).
This was especially relevant for the bombing role of Jaguar aircraft in Operation Safed Sagar in 1999. Bhadauria also has 4,250 hours of flying experience on 26 types of fighters and transport aircraft.
Bhadauria is one of the few Air Force pilots to fly a Rafale jet. In July, during Exercise Garuda between the Air Forces of India and France, Bhadauria had flown the Rafale aircraft.
He was the Air Attache at the Indian Embassy in Moscow, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Projects), Commandant of the National Defence Academy, Deputy Chief of the Air Staff at Air Head Quarter and Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Air Command.