New Delhi: In another development, the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Friday appointed Air Marshal B Suresh as Western Air Commander of the Force in New Delhi. He will succeed Kargil war hero Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar on October 31.

Prior to this responsibility, Suresh (PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC) was the Air Officer Commanding in Chief (AOC-in-C) of the Indian Air Force’s Southern Air Command. He had assumed this charge from RKS Bhadauria on August 1, 2018.

The move from the IAF comes days after Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria was appointed as its new chief. Currently vice chief of air staff, Bhadauria will take over the charge after his predecessor BS Dhanoa retires on September 30.

“Government has decided to appoint Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria, PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC presently Vice Chief of Air Staff as the next Chief of the Air Staff,” Defence Ministry’s Principal Spokesperson, said.

The first IAF officer to fly the Rafale fighter jet, Bhadauria was also involved in finalising the deal with France for the fighter jet.

An alumnus of the Rashtriya Indian Military College in Dehradun, National Defence Academy in Khadakwasla, Pune, and the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington, Suresh is a graduate of the Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment. He is also a post-graduate from Cranfield University in Shrivenham, United Kingdom.

As one of the youngest officers to be awarded the presidential award of AVSM as a Group Captain, Suresh was awarded Vayu Sena Medal in 2001 and Param Vishisht Seva Medal in 2019. He was also appointed as the honorary Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to the President of India on 1 March 2019.