Varthaman IAF’s Eastern Air Command chief

August 1st, 2011 - 8:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Shillong, Aug 1 (IANS) Air Marshal S. Varthaman Monday took over as chief of the Indian Air Force’ Eastern Air Command Monday, a defence official here said.

Varthaman took over the command from Air Marshal Kishan Kumar Nohwar, who assumed charge as vice chief of the IAF.

Inducted as a fighter pilot in 1973, Varthaman is among the few selected pilots in service to hold the distinction of having flown 40 types of aircraft with over 4,000 flying hours to his credit, IAF spokesman Ranjeeb Sahoo said.

During the Kargil War, Varthaman was the chief operations officer at Gwalior airbase where he used his flight-test experience to coordinate the upgradation of the Mirage 2000 aircraft that proved instrumental in the success of the air campaign.

He was also in command during Operation Parakram in the western sector, besides serving as chief test pilot at the Aircraft Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) and chief flying instructor at Fighter Training Wing, Hakimpet.

As air attache in Paris and the Benelux countries, Varthaman made efforts to forge defence co-operation with European air forces.

He continued to strengthen ties with air forces of the world on his return to Delhi in his appointment as Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Intelligence).

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