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Air Marshal S Varthaman takes charge as Chief of Eastern Air Command

Emblem of the Eastern Air Command

SHILLONG (PTI): Air Marshal S Varthaman on Monday took charge as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Air Command here.

An alumnus of Sainik School, Amaravathinagar, and trained at the National Defence Academy, the officer joined the IAF as a fighter pilot in 1973, an official statement said.

He is among the few select pilots in service today who hold the distinction of having flown 40 types of aircraft with over 4,000 flying hours to his credit, it said.

With a wide range of experience both in Operational, Flight Testing and Instructional Flying, he has flown most of the fighter, transport planes and helicopters.

Varthaman was Chief Test Pilot of ASTE, the only testing establishment of the IAF, and Chief Flying Instructor at Fighter Training Wing, Hakimpet.

During the Kargil conflict, he was Chief Operations Officer of Gwalior where he used his flight test experience to coordinate up gradation of the Mirage 2000 aircraft that proved instrumental in the success of the air campaign, the statement said.

During Operation Parakram, launched in the wake of the December 13, 2001 terrorist attack on Parliament, he was in command of an operational airbase in the western sector.

He is the recipient of the Presidential Awards of Athi Vishist Seva Medal, Vayu Sena Medal and Vishist Seva Medal.

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