Air Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari has been appointed as the new commander-in-chief of the Indian Air Force's Western Air Command (WAC) which looks after aerial defence of the sensitive Ladakh sector as well as various other parts of North India, officials said. He is set to take charge of the Delhi headquartered command on August 1, succeeding Air Marshal B Suresh, they said.
An alumni of the National Defence Academy, Air Marshal Chaudhari was commissioned into the fighter stream of the IAF on Dec 29, 1982. He has flown a range of aircraft including MiG-21, MiG-23MF, MiG-29 and SU-30MKI. His appointment as chief of the WAC comes when it is enhancing operational deployment in eastern Ladakh in view of the border row with China.
The IAF has been carrying out night time combat air patrols over the eastern Ladakh region in the last few weeks. It has already deployed almost all its frontline fighter jets like Sukhoi 30 MKI, Jaguar and Mirage 2000 aircraft in frontier bases in Ladakh as well as in several other places along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Air Marshal Chaudhari was also involved in the Rafale acquisition programme. He is currently serving as senior air staff officer in Eastern Air Command.