04th March 2021 11:52:46 Hours
The Chief of Air Staff of the Indian Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria, now in Sri Lanka on a four-day goodwill visit on account of the 70th anniversary of the Sri Lanka Air Force called at the Army Headquarters at Sri Jayawardenepura this morning (4) and extended courtesies to the Chief of Defence Staff, Commander of the Army and Head of the National Operations Centre for Prevention of COVID 19 Outbreak (NOCPCO), General Shavendra Silva.
The visiting Chief of Air Staff of the Indian Air Force was welcomed on arrival at the Army Headquarters by Colonel Indika Perera, Commanding Officer, HQ Battalion at the AHQ before he was greeted in the Guard Turnout salute at the entrance in conformity with military traditions.
Afterwards, he was ushered by the Adjutant General, Major General Sanjaya Wanasinghe to take the salute in the formal Guard of Honour, accorded by Sri Lanka Light Infantry troops from the special dais at the Headquarters premises.
General Shavendra Silva after saluting formalities were over warmly received the Indian Air Force Chief on reaching the foyer at the AHQ and introduced the Principal Staff Officers of the Sri Lanka Army to the visiting Chief of Air Staff of the Indian Air Force. A group photo in the premises around the same time followed, adding memories to his courtesy visit to the new Army Headquarters in Sri Lanka.
The cordial meeting that ensued between the visiting Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria and General Shavendra Silva at the Commander’s office largely centered on existing projects of bilateral cooperation and sound relations that prevail between both organizations as well as with the Sri Lanka Air Force. Both of them also shared thoughts on possibilities of further enhancement of security cooperation in the skies and strengthening of ongoing bilateral working relations.
Towards the end of the cordial meeting, General Shavendra Silva presented a special memento to the Indian Air Force Chief and the gesture was reciprocated. Before his departure, the Chief of Air Staff of the Indian Air Force left compliments in the Visitors’ Book at the Commander’s office.
A brief profile of the visiting Indian Air Chief is as follows:
Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria PVSM AVSM VM ADC took over as the Chief of the Air Staff, Indian Air Force (IAF) on 30 September 2019. An alumnus of the prestigious National Defence Academy, he graduated from the Air Force Academy with the coveted ‘Sword of Honour’ and was commissioned in the fighter stream of the IAF on 15 June 1980.
He has over 4270 hours of experience on twenty seven types of fighters as well as transport aircraft and holds the unique distinction of being an Experimental Test Pilot, a Cat 'A' Qualified Flying Instructor and a Pilot Attack Instructor. He completed his Masters in Defence Studies from Command and Staff College, Bangladesh.
During his illustrious career, spanning almost four decades, the Air Chief Marshal has held a number of significant field and staff appointments which include command of a front line Jaguar Squadron, Command of a premier Air Force Station in South-Western sector, Commanding Officer of Flight Test Squadron at Aircraft & System Testing Establishment and Chief Test Pilot as well as Project Director of National Flight Test Centre on Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) project. He was extensively involved in the initial prototype flight testing on the LCA. He has tenanted the appointments of Air Attaché Moscow, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Projects) at Air HQ, Commandant National Defence Academy, Senior Air Staff Officer at Central Air Command, Deputy Chief of the Air Staff at Air HQ, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Air Command and Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Training Command. Prior to taking over as the Chief of the Air Staff, he held the appointment of Vice Chief of the Air Staff.
In recognition of his meritorious service the Air Chief Marshal has been awarded the Vayu Sena Medal (VM) in 2002, Ati Vishist Seva Medal(AVSM) in 2013 and Param Vishist Seva Medal(PVSM) in 2018. He was appointed as the Honorary Air Force ADC to the Honorable President of India on 01 January 2019.