INDIA DEFENCE CONSULTANTS
The Indian Air Force is being
exposed to foreign Air Forces and is savouring the experience. In
November the USAF will be at the Kaliakunda airbase, to exercise and
improve their systems and the preparations have been well reported
from Japan's Kadena Air Base. It shows how the professional IAF is
slowly pressing forward. Air Chief ACM SP Tyagi has defended the MiG
21s and the MOD approved the appointments of Air Marshal Nagalia as
DCAS, who controls acquisitions. Air Marshal Major, the Air Officer
Personnel, in the current seniortiy speculations is tipped to be
next in line for Chief if the status quo remains. Finally all senior
IAF posts were filled up and we congratulate and wish them well.
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan ––
Getting to know their U.S. counterparts before an exercise on their
home turf in November, six members of India's air force visited
Misawa from Aug. 21–27 as part of a bilateral exchange. The 13th
Fighter Squadron and 610th Air Control Flight at Misawa each hosted
two pilots, two controllers and two safety officers from various
units in India. They toured base facilities and worksites, sampled
American culture and cuisine and learned about day-to-day military
operations at the Base, including flight operations, maintenance,
air traffic control and crash recovery.
"A big part of it is to be
familiar with how we operate so we can safely operate together
during the exercise, as well as build some of the rapport and
friendship that really make the exercise successful," said Lt.
Col. Chuck Toplikar, 13th Fighter Squadron operations director.
Misawa and Kadena Air Base on Okinawa Island are gearing up to send
about 256 military personnel from the 35th Fighter Wing and 961st
Airborne Warning and Control Systems, respectively, to Cope India,
Nov. 7–19. The exercise marks the second year the two air forces
will practice simulated combat flying between two types of aircraft.
In February 2004, Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, sent six F-15
Eagles to Gawalior.
This year, the exercise –– to
be held at Kalaikunda base near Calcutta –– is being expanded in
scope: Twelve F-16 CJs from Misawa are to take part, as is an E-3
AWACS aircraft from Kadena. At the Air Force Association's annual
Air Warfare Symposium in February, Pacific Air Forces Commander Gen.
Paul V. Hester said the training will be a large-force exercise.
"We'll have people on the ground, people in the air. It will
mark a growing respect between our nations as we work
together," he said.
Last month's swap was mutual: The
same week in August the Indian air force members came to Japan,
Misawa and Kadena each sent one airman who will participate in the
exercise to India. The two are getting to ride in a Russian-made
SU-30 fighter, one of the Indian officers said.
Toplikar said, "It's getting
to know each other, to know each other's cultures, getting to know
how we think and operate, and continuing to build a friendship
between the two countries as a whole." On their last day in
Japan, the group met Lt. Gen. Bruce A. Wright, U.S. Forces Japan and
5th Air Force commander, and spent time with the Japan Air
Self-Defense Force's 8th Tactical Squadron, based at Misawa.
Wing Commander and MiG-29 fighter
pilot, said the whole week was wonderful.
"For me [the highlight] was
riding in the F-16."
"Ride?" Toplikar said.
"You flew it."
"I did get to fly, yes,"
Srinivas said, laughing.
Deputy Chief of Air Staff
AIR Marshal A. K. Nagalia, AVSM, VM,
VSM, took over charge as Deputy Chief of Air Staff, at Air
Headquarters, New Delhi with effect from August 24.
Air Marshal Nagalia was born on
February 13, 1947 in Dehradun. He is an alumunus of National Defence
Academy and was commissioned in the fighter stream of the Indian Air
Force on June 2, 1968. He has about 4,500 hours of flying to his
credit. In his initial tenures at he flew Hunter and MiG-21
aircraft. In 1974, he underwent the flying instructors' course. He
has done an instructional tenure at Air Force Academy and also a
deputation to Iraq as flying instructor. He has instructed on Kiran,
PC-7 and L-39 aircraft.
Air Marshal Nagalia is a graduate
of the first Experimental Test Pilot course in India and has served
as test pilot in various capacities in three tenures at Aircraft
System Testing Establishment (ASTE). He has flown most of the
fighter and transport aircraft held in the IAF inventory. He has
commanded No. 6 Squadron comprising Jaguar and Canberra aircraft and
is presently Commodore Commandant of this Squadron. He is also a
graduate of the Royal Air Force Staff College, UK. He has held
several staff appointments at Air Headquarters, including Assistant
Chief of Air Staff (Plans), Director Air Staff Requirements,
Director -- Project, Joint Director Air Staff Requirements, etc. He
has also served as Air Attaché at Embassy of India, Kiev, Ukraine.
He graduated from National Defence College in December 2000 and
thereafter commanded Aircraft System Testing Establishment. Since
October 1, 2004, he has been holding the appointment of Air
Air Marshal Nagalia was awarded
Vishisht Seva Medal in 1985, Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) in 1993 and
Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2004.
Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command
Air Marshal FH Major AVSM SC VM
took over the charge as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Air
Air Marshal FH Major was born on 29
May 1947 in Secunderabad. After schooling at Wesley High School, he
did two years in Nizam’s College doing his B Sc in Mathematics
& Physics. In 1965, he joined the Indian Air Force and was
commissioned in the IAF in 1967.
After spending his early years in
the Eastern Sector flying helicopters, he was one of the first
pilots in the IAF to convert on to twin-turbine helicopters (MI-8)
in 1972. The vast
experience he built up on helicopters made him one of the youngest
pilots (as a Flt Lt) to be awarded the highest Helicopter Category
‘A’ and Instrument Rating “MG”.
On promotion to the rank of Wing Commander, he commanded the
first MI-17 Squadron of the IAF and commenced operations with this
helicopter in the world’s highest battlefield – the Siachin
Glacier. On promotion
to the rank of Group Captain, he commanded yet another MI-17
Squadron and led this Squadron into battle during IPKF operations in
Srilanka. For his
leadership and courage, he was awarded the Vayu Sena Medal
(Gallantry) during this tenure.
Later, in the same rank and as Station Commander of Air Force
Station Sarsawa, he was instrumental in carrying out a daring rescue
operation in which 11 people were rescued from a stranded cable car
in the middle of a valley at the “Timber Trail” resort at
Parwanoo, HP. For this
act of gallantry, he was awarded the “Shaurya Chakra” by the
President of India.
He has commanded a Tactical Air
Centre alongside a Strike Corps in the desert sector and he has held
important staff appointments as the Joint Director (Helicopter
Operations) and as an Air Commodore, he was Director Operations
(Transport & Helicopter). In
1999, he took over as the Air Officer Commanding Leh (Ladakh) in the
aftermath of the Kargil conflict.
For his leadership, successful accomplishment of his tasks
and distinguished service of a very high order, he was awarded the
“Ati Vishist Seva Medal” by the President of India on 26 Jan
2002. He was promoted to the rank of Air Vice Marshal on 04 Feb 2002
and appointed as Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Personnel Airmen
& Civilians) at Air Headquarters.
He is a graduate of the National
Defence College and Army War College, Mhow.
He was promoted to the rank of Air
Marshal on 02 Jan 2004 and was the Deputy Chief of Integrated
Defence Staff (Operations) before taking over this appointment.