Air Marshal B Suresh takes over as chief of Western Air Command

Air Marshal B Suresh
Air Marshal B Suresh took over as Chief of Western Air Command

New Delhi (NVI): Amid heightened India-Pakistan tensions, Air Marshal B Suresh on November 1 took charge as the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the crucial Western Air Command. He has succeeded Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar who retired on October 31.

During the event, Air Marshal reviewed a ceremonial Guard of Honour and thereafter outlined his vision for the Western Air Command in consonance with the objectives of the IAF and the nation at large.

Before taking over as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Western Air Command, he was Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Air Command with effect from August 1, 2018.

Air Marshal

Under his leadership, Southern Air Command grew exponentially in capability and functionality. The entire ‘Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) efforts during the Kerala floods was spearheaded by Southern Air Command under his leadership. This was one of the highest intensity HADR effort undertaken by IAF in recent history, said an official statement.

He is a highly decorated officer who had received the Presidential awards of Param Vishisht Seva Medal in 2019, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2005 and Vayu Sena Medal in 2001. He was also appointed as the ‘Aide de Camp’ to the President Ram Nath Kovind this year on February 1.

“He takes charge of this crucial Air Command at a very critical time. He brings a wealth of operational experience to the table in his new assignment,” said an official statement.

Air Marshal

He is a ‘Jam Sataji Sword of Honour’ awardee from the prestigious ‘Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment’ (TACDE), Indian Air Force’s premier institution that develops comprehensive offensive and defensive combat tactics to be adopted by all components of airpower in war.

Air Marshal Suresh is widely acclaimed as a strategist and tactician of repute within Air Force circles and as the Exercise Director, he is credited with having been the mastermind behind IAF’s superlative performance during Exercise Cope India 2004, the first international bilateral exercise with the United States Air Force held after a gap of nearly 40 years.

Lt Gen Anup Banerji takes charge as DG AFMS

Meanwhile, Lieutenant General Anup Banerji took over charge as Director General, Armed Forces Medical Services (DG AFMS) today. The General Officer is reputed to be an outstanding cardiologist and an exceptional administrator. He has held various important clinical and staff positions during his illustrious career in AFMS.

Lt Gen Banerji had received Sena Medal for his distinguished service in 1986, and was appointed President’s Honorary Surgeon (PHS) on January 27, 2019.

Prior to the present appointment, he served as the DGMS (Army). Lt Gen Banerji assured that he will continue the good work of his predecessors and bring in more synergy in healthcare delivery of AFMS with special emphasis on Combat Medical Support.

“Positive thrust would be provided to Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) for enhanced clientele satisfaction,” he said.

–PS