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Chief of the Air Staff
Indian CAS flag.jpg
Flag of the Chief of the Air Staff
ACM BS Dhanoa.jpg
Incumbent
Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa

since 31 December 2016
Indian Air Force
Abbreviation CAS
Member of Strategic Policy Group
Seat Central Secretariat
Appointer Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC)
The Chief of the Air Staff is usually the senior-most Indian Air Force officer of the senior most batch. The appointee for the office is approved by Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister, based on appointee's ability and strong confidence with Prime Minister.
Term length 3 years or at the age of 62, whichever is earlier.
Precursor Commander-in-Chief, Indian Air Force
Formation 1 April 1955; ago (1955-04-01)
First holder Air Marshal Subroto Mukherjee
Deputy Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Anil Khosla
Salary INR250000 (US$4,000) monthly[1][2]

Chief of the Air Staff is the professional head and the commander of the Indian Air Force.[3] The position is abbreviated as CAS in the Indian Air Force cables and communication, and is usually held by a four-star air officer of the rank Air Chief Marshal. The current CAS is Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa who took office on 31 December 2016, following the retirement of Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha.[4][5][6]

The position was held by an Air Commodore (1919–1923), by an Air Vice-Marshal (1923–1929) and by an Air Marshal (1929–1965). In 1966, the position was upgraded to that of an Air Chief Marshal. The highest rank in the India's IAF is Marshal of the Air Force, which is conferred by the President of India only in exceptional circumstances. It has only been given once in January 2002 to Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh. This is a five-star rank and is equivalent to a Field Marshal in the Army and Admiral of the Fleet in the Navy.

List[edit | edit source]

Commander, Indian Group (1919 to 1920)[edit | edit source]

Name Took office Left office Time in office
1
Tom Webb-Bowen CB, CMG
Webb-Bowen, TomAir Commodore Tom Webb-Bowen CB, CMG
(1879–1956)
20 September 191927 January 1920129 days

Air Officer Commanding RAF, India (1920–1938)[edit | edit source]

Name Took office Left office Time in office
1
Tom Webb-Bowen CB CMG
Webb-Bowen, TomAir Commodore Tom Webb-Bowen CB CMG
(1879–1956)
27 January 192031 December 19222 years, 338 days
2
Philip Game CB DSO
Game, PhilipAir Vice-Marshal Philip Game CB DSO
(1876–1961)
31 December 19225 November 1923309 days
3
Sir Edward Leonard Ellington KCB CMG CBE
Ellington, EdwardMarshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Edward Leonard Ellington KCB CMG CBE
(1877–1967)
5 November 192327 December 19263 years, 52 days
4
Sir Geoffrey Salmond KCB KCMG DSO
Ellington, EdwardAir Chief Marshal Sir Geoffrey Salmond KCB KCMG DSO
(1878–1933)
27 December 19266 February 19314 years, 41 days
5
Sir John Miles Steel KCB KBE CMG
Steel, JohnAir Chief Marshal Sir John Miles Steel KCB KBE CMG
(1877–1965)
6 February 19312 March 19354 years, 24 days
6
Sir Edgar Ludlow-Hewitt KCB CMG DSO MC
Ludlow-Hewitt, EdgarAir Chief Marshal Sir Edgar Ludlow-Hewitt KCB CMG DSO MC
(1886–1973)
2 March 193529 September 19372 years, 211 days
7
Sir Philip Joubert de la Ferté KCB CMG DSO
de la Ferté, PhilipAir Chief Marshal Sir Philip Joubert de la Ferté KCB CMG DSO
(1886–1973)
29 September 193727 December 19381 year, 89 days

Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Air Forces in India (1938–1947)[edit | edit source]

Name Took office Left office Time in office Ref
1
Sir Philip Joubert de la Ferté KCB CMG DSO
de la Ferté, PhilipAir Chief Marshal Sir Philip Joubert de la Ferté KCB CMG DSO
(1886–1973)
27 December 19386 October 1939283 days[7]
2
Sir John Higgins KCB KBE DSO AFC
Higgins, JohnAir Marshal Sir John Higgins KCB KBE DSO AFC
(1875–1948)
6 October 193926 September 1940356 days
3
Sir Patrick Playfair KCB CB CVO MC
Playfair, PatrickAir Marshal Sir Patrick Playfair KCB CB CVO MC
(1889–1974)
26 September 19406 March 19421 year, 161 days
4
Sir Richard Peirse KCB DSO AFC
Peirse, RichardAir Chief Marshal Sir Richard Peirse KCB DSO AFC
(1892–1970)
6 March 194227 April 19431 year, 52 days
5
Sir Guy Garrod KCB OBE MC DFC
Garrod, GuyAir Chief Marshal Sir Guy Garrod KCB OBE MC DFC
(1891–1965)
27 April 19438 March 1944316 days
6
Meredith Thomas CSI CBE DFC AFC
Thomas, MeredithAir Vice-Marshal Meredith Thomas CSI CBE DFC AFC
(1892–1984)
8 March 19441 April 19462 years, 24 days
7
Sir Roderick Carr KBE CB DFC AFC
Carr, RoderickAir Marshal Sir Roderick Carr KBE CB DFC AFC
(1891–1971)
1 April 194622 November 1946235 days
8
Sir Hugh Walmsley KCIE CBE MC DFC
Walmsley, HughAir Marshal Sir Hugh Walmsley KCIE CBE MC DFC
(1898–1985)
22 November 194615 August 1947252 days

(On 15 August 1947, the unified RIAF was separated into the Royal Indian Air Force and the Royal Pakistan Air Force)

The following tables chronicle the appointees to the office of the Chief of the Air Staff or its preceding positions since the independence of India.[8]

(**Seconded from the Royal Air Force)

Air Officer Commanding, Royal Indian Air Force (1947–1948)[edit | edit source]

Name Took office Left office Time in office
1
Sir Thomas Elmhirst KBE CB AFC
Elmhirst, ThomasAir Marshal Sir Thomas Elmhirst KBE CB AFC
(1895–1982)
[lower-alpha 1]
15 August 194721 June 1948311 days

Commander-in-Chief, Royal Indian Air Force (1948–1950)[edit | edit source]

Name Took office Left office Time in office
1
Sir Thomas Elmhirst KBE CB AFC
Elmhirst, ThomasAir Marshal Sir Thomas Elmhirst KBE CB AFC
(1895–1982)
[lower-alpha 1]
21 June 194825 January 19501 year, 218 days

Commander-in-Chief, Indian Air Force (1950–1955)[edit | edit source]

Name Took office Left office Time in office
1
Sir Thomas Elmhirst KBE CB AFC
Elmhirst, ThomasAir Marshal Sir Thomas Elmhirst KBE CB AFC
(1895–1982)
[lower-alpha 1][9]
26 January 195023 February 195028 days
2
Sir Ronald Ivelaw-Chapman KBE GCB CB DFC AFC
Ivelaw-Chapman, RonaldAir Chief Marshal Sir Ronald Ivelaw-Chapman KBE GCB CB DFC AFC
(1899–1978)
[lower-alpha 1]
23 February 19509 December 19511 year, 289 days
3
Gerald Gibbs CIE CBE MC**
Gibbs, GeraldAir Marshal Gerald Gibbs CIE CBE MC**
(1896–1992)
[lower-alpha 1]
10 December 195131 March 19542 years, 111 days
4
Subroto Mukerjee OBE
Mukerjee, SubrotoAir Marshal Subroto Mukerjee OBE
(1911–1960)
1 April 195431 March 19551 year, 0 days

Chief of the Air Staff (1955–present)[edit | edit source]

No. Name Rank Photo Appointment Date Left Office Decorations
4 Subroto Mukerjee Air Marshal Subroto Mukherjee 1 April 1955 8 November 1960 OBE
5 Aspy Engineer Air Marshal 1 December 1960 31 July 1964 DFC
6 Arjan Singh Air Chief Marshal (later Marshal of the Indian Air Force) Arjan Singh.gif 1 August 1964 15 July 1969 Padma Vibhushan, DFC
7 Pratap Chandra Lal Air Chief Marshal 16 July 1969 15 January 1973 Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, DFC
8 Om Prakash Mehra Air Chief Marshal 16 January 1973 31 January 1976 PVSM, PV
9 Hrushikesh Moolgavkar Air Chief Marshal 1 February 1976 31 August 1978 PVSM, MVC, LOM
10 Idris Latif Air Chief Marshal 1 September 1978 31 August 1981 PVSM
11 Dilbagh Singh Air Chief Marshal 1 September 1981 3 September 1984 PVSM, AVSM, VM
12 Lakshman Mohan Katre Air Chief Marshal 3 September 1984 1 July 1985 PVSM, AVSM
13 Denis Anthony La Fontaine Air Chief Marshal 3 July 1985 31 July 1988 PVSM, AVSM, VSM
14 Surinder Mehra Air Chief Marshal 1 August 1988 31 July 1991 PVSM
15 Nirmal Chandra Suri Air Chief Marshal 31 July 1991 31 July 1993 PVSM, AVSM, VSM
16 Swaroop Kaul Air Chief Marshal 1 August 1993 31 December 1995 PVSM, MVC
17 Satish Kumar Sareen Air Chief Marshal 31 December 1995 31 December 1998 PVSM, AVSM, VM
18 Anil Yashwant Tipnis Air Chief Marshal 31 December 1998 31 December 2001 PVSM, AVSM, VM
19 Srinivasapuram Krishnaswamy Air Chief Marshal 31 December 2001 31 December 2004 PVSM, AVSM, VM & Bar
20 Shashindra Pal Tyagi Air Chief Marshal 31 December 2004 31 March 2007 PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC
21 Fali Homi Major Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major.JPG 31 March 2007 31 May 2009 PVSM, AVSM, SC, VM, ADC
22 Pradeep Vasant Naik Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Vasant Naik (crop).jpg 31 May 2009 31 July 2011 PVSM, VSM, ADC
23 Norman Anil Kumar Browne Air Chief Marshal Anil Kumar Browne.PNG 31 July 2011 31 December 2013 PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC
24 Arup Raha Air Chief Marshal Chuck Hagel and Arup Raha 2 (cropped).jpg 31 December 2013 31 December 2016 PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC
25 Birender Singh Dhanoa Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa.jpg 31 December 2016 Incumbent PVSM AVSM, YSM, VM, ADC

Marshal of the Air Force[edit | edit source]

Only once has this rank ever been given:

See also[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Seconded from the Royal Air Force

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Report of the 7th Central Pay Commission of India" (PDF). Seventh Central Pay Commission, Government of India. http://7cpc.india.gov.in/pdf/sevencpcreport.pdf. Retrieved August 13, 2017. 
  2. Biswas, Shreya, ed (June 29, 2016). "7th Pay Commission cleared: What is the Pay Commission? How does it affect salaries?". http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/7th-pay-commission-cleared-what-is-pay-commission-how-does-it-effect-our-pockets/1/703452.html. 
  3. "Ex-Chiefs Gallery". Indian Air Force. Archived from the original on 3 April 2014. https://web.archive.org/web/20140403061917/http://indianairforce.nic.in/show_exchief_page.php?pg_id=19. Retrieved 2014-08-16. 
  4. "Air Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa AVSM YSM VM takes over as Vice Chief of the Air Staff". GOI. Archived from the original on 7 May 2016. https://web.archive.org/web/20160507122806/http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=122188. Retrieved 24 April 2016. 
  5. "Press Information Bureau". Archived from the original on 28 August 2017. https://web.archive.org/web/20170828013907/http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=%28Release%20ID%20%3A155647%29. 
  6. "Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa takes over as the 25th Chief of the Air Staff". Archived from the original on 1 January 2017. https://web.archive.org/web/20170101002330/http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=156043. 
  7. Chiefs of the Indian Air Force 1931 to 1947 Archived 2 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. "Chiefs of Air Staff". Bharat Rakshak. Archived from the original on 26 December 2013. https://web.archive.org/web/20131226085208/http://bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Personnel/Chiefs.html. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  9. Chiefs of the Indian Air Force 1947 to Present Archived 26 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit | edit source]



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