New Delhi, July 1 (IANS) Air Marshal Arup Raha Monday took over as the vice chief of the Indian Air Force (IAF).
He previously headed the swordarm Western Air Command.
Air Marshal Raha had his early schooling at the Sainik School, Purulia, and graduated from the National Defence Academy (NDA), Pune, with the President's gold medal in 1973.
He was commissioned in the IAF's flying branch in December 1974.
Air Marshal Raha has flown an array of combat and trainer aircraft during his service career, a defence ministry release said.
He has to his credit nearly 3,400 hours of flying, mainly on fighter aircraft. He is an experienced Qualified Flying Instructor and has served at Flying Instructors' School, Tambaram, as well as at Gwalior's Tactics and Combat Development Establishment (TACDE).
Air Marshal Raha has functioned as an Inspector in the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection at the 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 in Ukraine capital Kiev.
Air Marshal Arup Raha has held many operational assignments such as commanding officer of a fighter squadron and station commander.
He has also served as deputy commandant Air Force Academy, Hyderabad, and Senior Air Staff Officer at Western Air Command.
Before taking over as AOC-in-C Western Air Command, Air Marshal Raha was the AOC-in-C of Central Air Command.
Air Marshal Raha is an alumnus of the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellingdon, and the National Defence College, Delhi.
He is a recepient of the Vayu Sena Medal, the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and Param Vishisht Seva Medal for distinguished service.
He was appointed as Honorary Aide De Camp (Air) to the Indian president on December 1, 2012.