New IAF vice chief, Eastern air commander take charge

August 1st, 2011 - 9:34 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi/Shillong, Aug 1 (IANS) Air Marshal Kishan Kumar Nohwar, an ace MiG-21 and MiG-27 fighter pilot, Monday took over as vice chief of the Indian Air Force (IAF) here. He was replaced at the Eastern Air Command at Shillong by Air Marshal Simhakutty Varthaman.

Air Marshal Nohwar was born in Ambala in 1952 and after graduating from the National Defence Academy, he was commissioned into the fighter stream in 1972, an IAF statement said.

With 3,400 hours of flying to his credit, the air marshal has flown the MiG-21 and later commanded a Mig-27 Squadron.

He is also a qualified flying instructor, fighter combat leader, and an alumnus of the Defence Services Staff College and Air War College (US).

His command appointments include a premiere fighter squadron, Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) and a fighter air base.

Nohwar’s staff assignments include chief operations officer, deputy commandant at the College of Air Warfare, principal director of Air Staff Inspection, and assistant chief of air staff (plans).

He has also served as chief of staff at Andaman and Nicobar tri-services command and deputy commander-in-chief of Strategic Forces Command, and as Senior Air Staff Officer at training command.

Nohwar is a Vayu Sena Medal winner and the Param Vishisht Seva Medal awardee.

Air Marshal Varthaman is an alumnus of Sainik School at Amaravathinagar in Tamil Nadu and trained at the National Defence Academy. The officer joined the IAF as a fighter pilot in 1973.

He is among the few select pilots in service today who hold the distinction of having flown 40 types of aircraft with over 4,000 flying hours to his credit.

With a wide range of experience in operational, flight testing and instructional flying, he has flown most of the fighter, transport and rotary wing aircraft in service today.

The officer is an experimental test pilot and qualified flying instructor.

Among his appointments in this specialisation include chief test pilot of Aircraft Systems and Testing Establishment (ASTE), the only testing establishment of IAF, and chief flying instructor at fighter training wing in Andhra Pradesh.

In the 1999 Kargil conflict, he was the chief operations officer of Gwalior where he used his flight test experience to coordinate the up gradation of the Mirage-2000 aircraft that proved instrumental in the success of the air campaign then.

Again during the 2001-02 Operation Parakram, when India deployed troops on the Pakistan border after the terrorist atack on Indian parliament, he was in command of an operational air base in the western sector.

As air attache in Paris and the Benelux countries, he made an indelible mark on international defence co-operation with European air forces.

He continued to strengthen ties with air forces of the world on his return to Delhi and appointed as the assistant chief of air staff (intelligence).

He is the recipient of the presidential awards of Athi Vishist Seva Medal, Vayu Sena Medal and Vishist Seva Medal.

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