War Hero Who Flew Mirage 2000 During Kargil, Appointed WAC Chief
Nambiar is credited for shooting five of the eight laser-guided bombs on the Pakistani positions during Kargil war.
Kargil war hero and the current Eastern Air Command Chief Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar has been appointed as the new chief of Indian Air Force's sword arm Western Air Command (WAC), news agency ANI reported.
His appointment comes following the retirement of Air Marshal Chandrashekharan Hari Kumar from the post.
Air Marshal Nambiar shot five of the eight laser-guided bombs on the Pakistani positions during the Kargil war while flying the Mirage-2000 and has flown 25 operational missions, according to ANI.
In fact, Nambiar has the distinction of having the highest number of flying hours on the Mirage-2000 in the IAF, with over 2,300 flying hours on the aircraft to his credit, and a total of 5,100 hours of flying experience.
Besides his war honours, Nambiar has also been a flight commander of a Mirage-2000 Squadron, the Senior Test Pilot and Commanding Officer of the Flight Test Squadron at Aircraft System Testing Establishment (ASTE), ANI said in a report.
He is a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and was the Project Test Pilot for the Light Combat Aircraft “Tejas” and commanded the oldest Squadron of the IAF, the prestigious No. 1 Squadron.
Nambiar was also awarded the Vayu Sena Medal for Gallantry by the President of India for the Kargil Operation and awarded a Bar to the Vayu Sena Medal for flight testing the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) in 2002, during its first phase of flight testing, the ANI report says.
The WAC, which Nambiar will now head, is headquartered in the national capital and controls the area from north of Bikaner in Rajasthan up to Siachen Glacier, and controls almost 40 percent of the air bases of the Indian Air Force.
(With inputs from ANI)
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