Air Marshal SS Soman on Monday took over as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Western Air Command.
He replaced Air Marshal Arup Raha, who is appointed as the Vice Chief of Air Staff (VCAS).
Air Marshal Soman was presented a ceremonial Guard of Honour in front of HQ WAC. Thereafter, the Air Marshal, who has earlier been Air Defence Commander and Senior Air Staff Officer at WAC, addressed all the principal staff officers.
While talking to all the officers he spelt out his operational priorities and focus areas. The Air Marshal stressed on preparedness for all types of contingencies.
Air Marshal Soman is a graduate of National Defence Academy, Pune. He was commissioned in Flying Branch in December 1976 and has more than 3400 hours of flying on fighter aircraft.
His field assignments include Commanding Officer of a Fighter Squadron, Chief Flying Instructor at the Flying Instructors' School, Chief Operations Officer and Air-officer- Commanding at premier forward air bases of the IAF. He has served in a number of staff appointments at Air HQ and Command HQ. His senior assignments include Air Defence Commander at HQ WAC and as Senior Air Staff Officer at HQ WAC and HQ SWAC.
He is an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College and has graduated from Air War College, USA. He has served as Assistant Defence Adviser at the High Commission of India, Dhaka.
Air Marshal Soman was awarded the Vayu Sena Medal and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 1999 and 2009 respectively. (ANI)