Kottayam: Air marshal Raghunath Nambiar will take charge as the deputy chief of air staff (DCAS) of the Indian Air Force (IAF) Wednesday. He is the first Keralite to hold the post, the third highest in the force.
Earlier, he was the senior air staff officer at IAF's eastern air command in Shillong. He is an experimental test pilot, with more than 4,700 hours of flying experience in over 35 types of fighter and transport aircraft and helicopters. He has over 2,300 hours of experience in Mirage 2000 alone, which is an Indian record. Nambiar was the one who made the first trial landing at Kannur International Airport last year.
Hailing from Kadachira, near Kannur, Nambiar belongs to the Ayillyath family related to the legendary communist leaders A.K. Gopalan and E.K. Nayanar. He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy and was commissioned in the IAF in June 1980.
Nambiar is also the recipient of the Athi Vishisht Seva Medal, Vayu Sena Medal for gallantry for the Kargil operations and a Bar to the Vayu Sena Medal for the flight testing of Light Combat Aircraft.
DCAS is responsible for controlling the IAF budget, which is about Rs 1 lakh crore annually. The DCAS also has to look after future planning, acquisition of new aircraft and weapons and all projects of the force.