Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha took over as the Chairman, Chief of Staff Committee (COSC) today. He received the baton of Chairman, COSC from outgoing Chief of Army Staff, General Bikram Singh at a brief ceremony in the South Block. Chief of Naval Staff and other senior Principal Staff Officers of all three Services and Integrated Defence Staff were present on the occasion.
Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha graduated from the National Defence Academy, Pune with the President’s Gold Medal in 1973 and was commissioned in the flying Branch of Indian Air Force in December 1974. He is an experienced fighter pilot, a qualified Flying Instructor and a Fight Combat Leader with nearly 3400 hours of flying experience to his credit, primarily on fighter aircraft.
He has held many coveted operational assignments such as Commanding Officer of MiG-29 Squadron, Station Commander of Air Force Station, Bhatinda in Punjab during ‘OP PARAKRAM’, Air Officer Commanding Air Force Station Adampur and Advance Headquarters Western Air Command, Chandimandir. He has also served as the Deputy Commandant Air Force Academy, Hyderabad and Senior Air Staff Officer at Headquarters Western Air Command. The Air Chief Marshal has the rare distinction of being the Air Officer Comamnding in Chief of two Operational Air Commands i.e. Central Air Command and the Western Air Command.
The Air Chief Marshal is an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College and the National Defence College, Delhi. For his distinguished service, he has been awarded Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and Vayu Sena Medal. He was appointed as Honorary Aide De Camp (Air) to the Hon’ble President of India with effect from December 01, 2012.
General Bikram Singh, the outgoing Chairman, COSC was commissioned into The Sikh Light Infantry in March 1972. During his military career, the General Officer held various high profile and distinguished Command and Staff appointments. He has commanded an Infantry Battalion in the North East and on the Line of Control in J&K, an RR Sector, an Infantry Division in Northern Command, the prestigious 15 Corps in J&K and the Eastern Army Command.
An ardent supporter of Tri-Services Jointmanship, he was instrumental in harmonising the efforts of the three Services in matters related to joint operation, training, perspective planning and force structuring. During his stewardship, the Army was given the ‘Go-Ahead’ for the raising of the “Strategic Strike Corps for the Mountains”.
(Photo & text by Ministry of Defence, New Delhi)