Government of India appoints current Vice-chief of Air Staff- Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC as the 26th Chief of Air Staff on Thursday, 19th September. He will take over the charge after the current Chief of Air Staff- Air Marshal BS Dhanoa retires on September 30. He has been serving as the 25th Chief of Air Staff since January 1, 2017.
An alumnus of National Defence Academy, Pune, Bhadauria served as the Air Commanding-in-chief (AOC-in-C) of Southern Air Command from March 2017 to August 2018. He further served as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C), Training Command from August 2018 till his promotion to the Vice Chief of Air Staff on May 2019. He is among the first officers to fly the Rafale fighter jet and was one of the key officers to clinch the Rafale deal.
In the 36 years of his career, RKS Bhadauria accomplished over 4250 hours of flying fighter planes and has mastered in flying 26 different fighter planes. He was awarded several prestigious medals: Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM), Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM), and the Vayu Sena Medal (VM). In January this year, he was appointed honorary Aide De Camp to the President of India.
A few days before his retirement from the Indian Air Force, Air Chief Marshal BS S Dhanoa experienced his last combat encounter on a MiG-21 aircraft along with Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman at Pathankot airbase on September 2.