Home India News P.K. Barbora takes over as IAF vice-chief

P.K. Barbora takes over as IAF vice-chief


New Delhi : Air Marshal P.K. Barbora Monday took over as the new vice-chief of the Indian Air Force (IAF) – becoming the first person from the northeast to hold the post.

Barbora, born in Shillong, was commissioned into the IAF as a fighter pilot in 1970.

A highly experienced aviator with over 3,500 flying hours to his credit, he also took part in the 1971 war.

Barbora was formerly the chief of the Western Air Command (WAC), the largest operational command of the IAF, and the Eastern Air Command.

“Under my command for the first time Sukhois (combat jets) operated from Leh (one of the highest airbases in the world). We just wanted to show our capability,” Barbora said.

He was a member of the IAF team that inducted the first Jaguar Squadron and also the IAF’s maiden Air Combat Simulator – the first of its kind in Asia.

Among his several operational assignments are command of a MiG-21 squadron, chief operations officer of a fighter airbase and Air Officer Commanding of a premier fighter airbase under Eastern Air Command.

Under his command, WAC achieved very high aircraft utilization rates even as night operations by the fighter and transport aircraft increased substantially. Strikingly, the operational command, that accounts for nearly 35 percent of IAF’s flying tasks, recorded �zero’ flying accident rate at the end of the last fiscal year.

His tenure saw landing of transport aircraft at Daulat Beg Oldie airfield in Ladakh, the highest airbase in the world, after four decades of closure, and opening of Fukche Advanced Landing Ground near the Sino-Indian border.

Barbora is a recipient of Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) and Vayu Sena Medal (VM).