Commands Of Indian Armed Forces: Indian Air Force


The Indian Armed Forces consist of three professional uniformed services: Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Forces. Additionally, they are supported by Indian Coastguard and Paramilitary Organizations. The president of India is the supreme commander of the Indian Armed Forces. The Indian Armed Forces are under the management of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of the Government of India. It is the world's 2nd largest military force, with the strength of over 1.4 million active personnel, and has the world's largest volunteer army. The Indian armed force is split into different groups based on their region of operation. We will discuss the commands of Indian Air Force in this article.

The Indian Armed Forces have set up numerous military academies across India for training personnel. Military schools, Sainik Schools, and the Rashtriya Indian Military College were founded to broaden the recruitment base of the Defence Forces.

The Indian Air Force has divided administratively into seven tactical commands, each under the control of Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) with a rank of Air Marshal.

INDIAN AIR FORCE

CENTRAL AIR COMMAND
The task assigned to this Command is to patrol the North Central sector of this country from Himachal border to Sikkim. The area assigned to command stretches from Bareilly/Agra in the North to Bihta/Darbhanga in the East from Indo-Nepal border in the North to Nagpur in the South. The Central Air Command was formed at Rani Kuthee, Calcutta in Mar 1962. However, with need to increase vigil along the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Tibetan borders, Calcutta was considered inappropriate location for the Central Air Command. Allahabad is the current Headquarters of the Central Air Command. Air Marshal SBP SINHA AVSM, VM  is the current AOC-in-C of central command of Indian Air Force. 

EASTERN AIR COMMAND
The threat perception arising due to the Chinese occupation of Tibet necessitated the formation of a Command that could effectively oversee the operations of the IAF in the eastern region of the country. With this primary aim, the No 1 Operational Group was upgraded to Eastern Air Command on 01 Dec 1959 at Calcutta. Shillong is the Headquarters of the Eastern Air Command. Air Marshal Anil Khosla AVSM VM is the current AOC-in-C of Eastern Air Command of Indian Air force.

SOUTH WESTERN AIR COMMAND
Originally established as No 1 Operational Group at Jodhpur on 21 Sep 1972, it was subsequently rechristened as the South Western Air Command on 23 Jul 1980. The operational area, carved out of the Western Air Command, included most of Rajasthan and entire Gujarat. Goa area of Southern Air Command was also added to the jurisdiction of this Command. Thus, the entire south western area of the country came under the air defence umbrella of SWAC. Gandhinagar is the Headquarters of the South Western Air Command. Air Marshal RK Dhir AVSM VM is the current AOC-in-C of South Western Air Command of Indian Airforce.

WESTERN AIR COMMAND
The origin of the Western Air Command can be traced back to the nascent years of independent India, when the various formations of the Air Force were organised into two groups. These were the No 1 Operational Group which controlled all the flying units including the flying training units and the No2 Training Group responsible for the entire spectrum of training activities (except flying training) in the IAF. Due to its geographical location the Command has always been the hub-centre of all operational activities during any operation. Some of the major operations handled are Kashmir Operations 1947-48, Sino-Indian Conflict 1962, Indo-Pak War 1965, Indo-Pak War 1971, Operation Pawan 1986 (Sri Lanka) and Operation Safed Sagar 1999 (Kargil). Delhi is the Headquarters of the Western Air Command. Air Marshal C Hari Kumar PVSM AVSM VM VSM ADC is the current AOC-in-C of Western Air Command of Indian Air Force

SOUTHERN AIR COMMAND
Southern Air Command was raised when the need was felt to establish a full-fledged Operational Air Command covering the geopolitical area of peninsular India extending to 18 deg N including the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal and Lakshadweep islands in the Arabian sea. Thiruvananthapuram is the Headquarters of the Southern Air Command. Air Marshal B Suresh AVSM VM  is the current AOC-in-C of Southern Air Command of Indian Air Force.

TRAINING COMMAND
With the advent of war and the learning of Japan towards the Axis powers, the latter was considered as a potential enemy. Therefore, need was felt to make IAF a self-supporting force for the South Eastern Theatre of war. This led to the rapid expansion of the IAF.? The target was fixed to have strength of 10 IAF Squadrons. With this expansion, the requirement of pilots and technical personnel increased. For the training of technical personnel, a technical training school was set up at Ambala in 1940. Bengaluru is the Headquarters of the Training Command. AIR MARSHAL SRK Nair AVSM VM M-in-D is the current AOC-in-C of Training Command of Indian Air Force.

MAINTENANCE COMMAND
Kanpur was the hub-centre of maintenance activities even before independence. The only Base Repair Depot (BRD) of the Indian Air Force existed at Kanpur, along with a Repair and Manufacturing Depot (RMD). A unit called Aircraft Manufacturing Depot (AMD) was subsequently added to undertake manufacture of the AVRO aircraft. In the perspective of industrial revolution in India, when the role of IAF was more clearly defined, the AMD was transferred to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). Nagpur is the Headquarters of the Maintenance Command. Air Marshal Hemant Sharma AVSM VSM is the current AOC-in-C of Maintenance Command of Indian Air Force.

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