Chief of the Air Staff (India)

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Chief of the Air Staff of the Indian Air Force
Indian CAS flag.jpg
Flag of the Chief of the Air Staff
Incumbent
Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa

since 31 December 2016
Seat Central Secretariat
Appointer President of India
Term length 3 years or till the age of 62,
whichever is earlier.
Precursor Commander-in-Chief, Indian Air Force
Formation 1 April 1955
First holder Air Marshal Subroto Mukherjee
Deputy Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Shirish Baban Deo

Chief of the Air Staff is the commander and the highest-ranking officer of the Indian Air Force.[1] The position is abbreviated as CAS in the Indian Air Force cables & communication, and is usually held by a four-star officer of the rank Air Chief Marshal. The current CAS is Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa who took office on 31 December 2016, following the retirement of Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha.[2][3][4]

The position was held by an Air Commodore (1919–1923), by an Air Vice-Marshal (1923–1929) and by an Air Marshal (1929–1965). In 1966, the position was upgraded to that of an Air Chief Marshal. The highest rank in the IAF is Marshal of the Air Force, which is conferred by the President of India only in exceptional circumstances. It has only been given once in January 2002 to Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh. This is a five-star rank and is equivalent to a Field Marshal in the Army and Admiral of the Fleet in the Navy.

Appointees[edit]

Commander, Indian Group (1919 to 1920)[edit]

No. Name Rank Photo Appointment Date Left Office Decorations
1 Tom Webb-Bowen Air Commodore (later Air Vice-Marshal) 20 September 1919 27 January 1920 CB, CMG

Air Officer Commanding RAF, India (1920–1938)[edit]

No. Name Rank Photo Appointment Date Left Office Decorations
1 Tom Webb-Bowen Air Commodore (later Air Vice-Marshal) 27 January 1920 31 December 1922 CB, CMG
2 Philip Game Air Vice-Marshal Portrait Sir Philip Game 1947.jpg 31 December 1922 5 November 1923 CB, DSO
3 Sir Edward Leonard Ellington Air Vice-Marshal (later Marshal of the Royal Air Force) Marshal of the RAF Sir Edward Ellington.jpg 5 November 1923 27 December 1926 KCB, CMG, CBE
4 Sir Geoffrey Salmond Air Marshal (later Air Chief Marshal) Sir Geoffrey Salmond.jpg 27 December 1926 6 February 1931 KCB, KCMG, DSO
5 Sir John Miles Steel Air Marshal (later Air Chief Marshal) 6 February 1931 2 March 1935 KCB, KBE, CMG
6 Sir Edgar Ludlow-Hewitt Air Marshal (later Air Chief Marshal) Air Chief Marshal Sir Edgar Ludlow-Hewitt (cropped).jpg 2 March 1935 29 September 1937 KCB, CMG, DSO, MC
7 Sir Philip Joubert de la Ferté Air Marshal (later Air Chief Marshal) Joubert de la Ferte.jpg 29 September 1937 27 December 1938 KCB, CMG, DSO

Air Officer Commander-in-Chief, Air Forces in India (1938–1947)[edit]

No. Name Rank Photo Appointment Date Left Office Decorations
1 Sir Philip Joubert de la Ferté[5] Air Marshal (later Air Chief Marshal) Joubert de la Ferte.jpg 27 December 1938 6 October 1939 KCB, CMG, DSO
2 Sir John Frederick Andrews Higgins Air Marshal 6 October 1939 26 September 1940 KCB, KBE, DSO, AFC
3 Sir Patrick Playfair Air Marshal Playfair in the RFC.jpg 26 September 1940 6 March 1942 KBE, CB, CVO, MC
4 Sir Richard Peirse Air Marshal (later Air Chief Marshal) INF3-76 pt6 Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Peirse Artist Tim.jpg 6 March 1942 27 April 1943 KCB, DSO, AFC
5 Sir Guy Garrod Air Marshal (later Air Chief Marshal) Air Marshal A G R Garrod.jpg 27 April 1943 8 March 1944 KCB, OBE, MC, DFC
6 Meredith Thomas Air Vice-Marshal Air Vice-Marshal Meredith Thomas.jpg 8 March 1944 1 April 1946 CSI, CBE, DFC, AFC
7 Sir Roderick Carr Air Marshal Air Mshl Sir Roderick Carr.jpg 1 April 1946 22 November 1946 KBE, CB, DFC, AFC
8 Sir Hugh Walmsley Air Marshal 22 November 1946 15 August 1947 KCIE, CBE, MC, DFC

(On 15 August 1947, the unified RIAF was separated into the Royal Indian Air Force and the Royal Pakistan Air Force)

The following tables chronicle the appointees to the office of the Chief of the Air Staff or its preceding positions since the independence of India.[6]

(**Seconded from the Royal Air Force)

Air Officer Commanding, Royal Indian Air Force (1947–1948)[edit]

No. Name Rank Photo Appointment Date Left Office Decorations
1 Sir Thomas Elmhirst** Air Marshal 15 August 1947 21 June 1948 KBE, CB, AFC

Commander-in-Chief, Royal Indian Air Force (1948–1950)[edit]

No. Name Rank Photo Appointment Date Left Office Decorations
1 Sir Thomas Elmhirst** Air Marshal 21 June 1948 25 January 1950 KBE, CB, AFC

Commander-in-Chief, Indian Air Force (1950–1955)[edit]

No. Name Rank Photo Appointment Date Left Office Decorations
1 Sir Thomas Elmhirst**[7] Air Marshal 26 January 1950 23 February 1950 KBE, CB, AFC
2 Sir Ronald Ivelaw-Chapman** Air Marshal (later Air Chief Marshal) 23 February 1950 9 December 1951 KBE, GCB, CB, DFC, AFC
3 Gerald Gibbs** Air Marshal 10 December 1951 31 March 1954 CIE, CBE, MC & Two Bars
4 Subroto Mukerjee Air Marshal Subroto Mukherjee 1 April 1954 31 March 1955 OBE

Chief of the Air Staff (1955–present)[edit]

No. Name Rank Photo Appointment Date Left Office Decorations
4 Subroto Mukerjee Air Marshal Subroto Mukherjee 1 April 1955 8 November 1960 OBE
5 Aspy Engineer Air Marshal Air Marshal Aspy Engineer.jpg 1 December 1960 31 July 1964 DFC
6 Arjan Singh Air Chief Marshal (later Marshal of the Indian Air Force) Arjan Singh.gif 1 August 1964 15 July 1969 DFC, PV
7 Pratap Chandra Lal Air Chief Marshal ACM PC Lal.jpg 16 July 1969 15 January 1973 PV, PB, DFC
8 Om Prakash Mehra Air Chief Marshal ACM OP Mehra.jpg 16 January 1973 31 January 1976 PVSM, PV
9 Hrushikesh Moolgavkar Air Chief Marshal ACM H Moolgavkar.jpg 1 February 1976 31 August 1978 PVSM, MVC, LOM
10 Idris Latif Air Chief Marshal ACM IH Latif.jpg 1 September 1978 31 August 1981 PVSM
11 Dilbagh Singh Air Chief Marshal Dilbag singh.jpg 1 September 1981 3 September 1984 PVSM, AVSM, VM
12 Lakshman Mohan Katre Air Chief Marshal LakshmanMohanKatre.jpg 3 September 1984 1 July 1985 PVSM, AVSM
13 Denis Anthony La Fontaine Air Chief Marshal Denis La Fontaine.jpg 3 July 1985 31 July 1988 PVSM, AVSM, VSM
14 Surinder Mehra Air Chief Marshal ACM S K Mehta.jpg 1 August 1988 31 July 1991 PVSM
15 Nirmal Chandra Suri Air Chief Marshal Air Chief Marshal Nirmal Chandra Suri.jpg 31 July 1991 31 July 1993 PVSM, AVSM, VSM
16 Swaroop Kaul Air Chief Marshal ACM SK Kaul.jpg 1 August 1993 31 December 1995 PVSM, MVC
17 Satish Kumar Sareen Air Chief Marshal Air Chief Marshal Satish Kumar Sareen.jpg 31 December 1995 31 December 1998 PVSM, AVSM, VM
18 Anil Tipnis Air Chief Marshal Air Chief Marshal A.Y. Tipnis PVSM,AVSM, VM, ADC.jpg 31 December 1998 31 December 2001 PVSM, AVSM, VM
19 Srinivasapuram Krishnaswamy Air Chief Marshal ACM S Krishnaswamy.jpg 31 December 2001 31 December 2004 PVSM, AVSM, VM & Bar
20 Shashindra Pal Tyagi Air Chief Marshal ACM Tyagi.jpg 31 December 2004 31 March 2007 PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC
21 Fali Homi Major Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major.JPG 31 March 2007 31 March 2009 PVSM, AVSM, SC, VM, ADC
22 Pradeep Vasant Naik Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Vasant Naik (crop).jpg 31 March 2009 31 July 2011 PVSM, VSM, ADC
23 Anil Kumar Browne Air Chief Marshal Anil Kumar Browne.PNG 31 July 2011 31 December 2013 PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC
24 Arup Raha Air Chief Marshal Chuck Hagel and Arup Raha 2 (cropped).jpg 31 December 2013 31 December 2016 PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC
25 Birender Singh Dhanoa Air Chief Marshal ACM BS Dhanoa.jpg 31 December 2016 PVSM AVSM, YSM, VM, ADC

Marshal of the Air Force[edit]

Only once has this rank ever been given:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ex-Chiefs Gallery". Indian Air Force. Retrieved 2014-08-16. 
  2. ^ "Air Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa AVSM YSM VM takes over as Vice Chief of the Air Staff". PIB. GOI. Retrieved 24 April 2016. 
  3. ^ "Press Information Bureau". Retrieved 2016-12-20. 
  4. ^ "Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa takes over as the 25th Chief of the Air Staff". pib.nic.in. Retrieved 2016-12-31.  line feed character in |title= at position 43 (help)
  5. ^ Chiefs of the Indian Air Force 1931 to 1947 Archived 2 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "Chiefs of Air Staff". Bharat Rakshak. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  7. ^ Chiefs of the Indian Air Force 1947 to Present

External links[edit]