Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Western Air Command, Air Marshal Arup Raha, took charge as the Vice Chief of Air Staff (VCAS) at the Air Headquarters here on Monday.
Having done his early schooling from Sainik School Purulia, he graduated from the National Defence Academy (NDA), Pune with the President's gold medal in 1973. He was commissioned in the Flying Branch in December 1974.
Air Marshal Raha has flown an array of combat and trainer aircraft during his service career. He has to his credit nearly 3400 hours of flying mainly on fighter aircraft. He is an experienced Qualified Flying Instructor and has served as Directing Staff at Flying Instructors' School, Tambaram as well as at the Tactics and Combat Development Establishment of the IAF.
He has functioned as an Inspector in the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection in Air Headquarters and as Staff Officer to the Chief of the Air Staff. In 1999 he was deputed as the Military and Air Attache in the Embassy of India, Kiev, Ukraine.
Air Marshal Raha has held many operational assignments such as Commanding Officer of a fighter Squadron, Station Commander, Air Officer Commanding of frontline bases and Advance HQ Western Air Command, Chandimandir.
He has also served as the Deputy Commandant Air Force Academy, Hyderabad and Senior Air Staff Officer at HQ Western Air Command. Before taking over as AOC-in-C Western Air Command, the Air Marshal was the AOC-in-C of Central Air Command.
He is an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) and the National Defence College, Delhi. He was awarded the Vayu Sena Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and Param Vishisht Seva Medal in 1995, 2009 and 2013 respectively for distinguished service.
He was appointed as Honorary Aide De Camp (Air) to the Honorable President of India with effect from December 1, 2012. (ANI)