Ending suspense and without surprises, the government on Tuesday finally made the announcement, appointing Air Marshal V.R. Chaudhari as the next chief of the Indian Air Force.
Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhaduria completes his innings on September 30 after two years of service in the Air Headquarters. And, the delayed announcement on new IAF chief was leading to speculations in the Air Headquarters in the national capital.
Traditionally, the government declares the name of the succeeding chief two to three months before the superannuation of the current chief. The idea is to give sufficient time for the new person to understand and coordinate with the present chief for the continuation of the work.
After ACM Bhadauria, whose appointment was announced in very late in September 2019, this is the second time that the government has taken time to announce the name of next chief of the world's fourth largest air force.
By picking Air Marshal Chaudhari, the government has followed the seniority principle as well as the merit.
Air Marshal Chaudhari is presently the vice chief of IAF. Commissioned in the fighter stream of the IAF on December 29, 1982, he has a flying experience of more than 3,800 hours on a wide variety of fighter and trainer aircraft, including missions flown during Operation Meghdoot and Operation Safed Sagar.
Operation Meghdoot was the code name for the Indian Armed Forces' operation to seize control of the Siachen Glacier in Kashmir in 1984, and Operation Safed Sagar was for IAF's role in the 1999 Kargil conflict.