August 01, 2001

'33'

AIR MARSHAL S KRISHNASWAMY: NEW VICE CHIEF OF AIR STAFF

   Air Marshal S Krishnaswamy took over as Vice Chief of Air Staff at Air Headquarters this morning. He succeeds Air Marshal Vinod Patney who retired after 40 years of distinguished service in the Indian Air Force. In other changes, Air Marshal VK Bhatia took over as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command (WAC) at Subroto Park, New Delhi while Air Marshal M Mc Mohan took over as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, South Western Air Command (SWAC) at Gandhinagar and Air Marshal BM Bali took over as Inspector General (IG) at Air Headquarters this morning.

    Air Marshal Vinod Patney was commissioned as a fighter pilot in May 1961. An alumnus of the Royal Air Force Staff College, he took part in the 1965 & 1971 Indo-Pak war for which he was awarded the Vir Chakra in 1965 and Mentioned-in-Despatches in 1971. His command tenures include Air officer Command, J & K, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command and Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Central Air Command prior to superannuating as Vice Chief of Air Staff.

    An alumnus of the Defence Service Staff College (DSSC) and National Defence College, Air Marshal S Krishnaswamy has the rare distinction of commanding three operational Commands of the IAF viz., Central Air Command (CAC), South Western Air Command (SWAC) and Western Air Command (WAC) prior to his present appointment as Vice Chief of Air Staff. He is a fighter combat leader as also a qualified test pilot specializing in Electronic Warfare. He is a fellow of Aeronautical Society of India and received the prestigious Agni award for self-reliance in 1999.

    A fighter pilot with more than 4000 hours of flying on 16 different types of fighter aircraft, Air Marshal VK Bhatia took part in the 1965 & 1971 Indo-Pak wars and was awarded the Vir Chakra on both occasion for his gallant contribution. His appointments include Asst Chief of Air Staff (Operations), Senior Air Staff Officer, Western Air Command, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Central Air Command and Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, South Western Air Command prior to his present appointment as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command.

    A Qualified Flying Instructor and an alumnus of the Australian Joint Services’ Staff College, Air Marshal Mc Mohan took part in the 1965 & 1971 operations for which he was Mentioned-in-Despatches on both occasions. He was Senior Air Staff Officer, WAC during the Kargil conflict and was responsible for execution of air operations. His Staff tenures include Director Air Staff Requirements at Air Headquarters, Air Attache in Paris, Asst Chief of Air Staff (Operations), Senior Air Staff Officer, Western Air Command, Senior Air Staff Officer, Eastern Air Command and Inspector General (IG) prior to his taking over as AOC-in-C, SWAC, IAF.

    A fighter combat leader and alumnus of DSSC & College of Air Warfare, Air Marshal BM Bali commanded the air element of IPKF at Jaffna (Sri Lanka). His appointments include Asst Chief of Air Staff (Intelligence), Asst Chief of Air Staff (Inspection) and AOC Advance Headquarters at WAC.