According to Indian media, the Indian government has removed a senior air force officer reportedly after Pakistan’s successful strikes and capturing of a pilot on February 27.
According to Indian media reports, Eastern Air Command chief Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar has been appointed as the new chief of Indian Air Force’s Western Air Command (WAC) on Thursday in place of Air Marshal C Harikumar.
The decision came after Pakistan’s surprise response against Indian aggression on Wednesday when two IAF fighter jets were shot down and a pilot was arrested for violating airspace.
Later In a statement issued today, the Indian Defence Ministry said that the officer has retired.
“Air Marshal Chandrashekharan Hari Kumar PVSM AVSM VM VSM ADC, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command Indian Air Force retired on 28 February 2019 after an illustrious career spanning over 39 yrs,” the statement read
The WAC is headquartered in New Delhi and controls the area from north of Bikaner in Rajasthan up to Siachen Glacier and controls almost 40 per cent of the air bases of the Indian Air Force.
Harikumar was posted as WAC chief in January 2017.
Present Eastern Air Command chief Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar has been appointed as the new chief of Indian Air Force’s sword arm Western Air Command (WAC) on Thursday.
Air Marshal Nambiar has the distinction of having the highest number of flying hours on the Mirage-2000 in the IAF, with over 2300 flying hours on the aircraft to his credit, and a total of 5100 hours of flying experience.
He is a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and was the Project Test Pilot for the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas.
Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar has been a Flight commander of a Mirage-2000 Squadron, the Senior Test Pilot and Commanding Officer of the Flight Test Squadron at Aircraft System Testing Establishment (ASTE).
He has commanded the oldest Squadron of the IAF, the prestigious No. 1 Squadron.
He flew the Mirage-2000 in combat during the Kargil conflict and has flown 25 operational missions.
Air Marshal Nambiar was also awarded the Vayu Sena Medal for Gallantry by the President of India for the Kargil Operations.