New Delhi: Ace fighter pilot Air Marshal NAK Browne on Saturday assumed charge as the new Vice Chief of the Indian Air Force at the Air Headquarters here.
He was formerly the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) of IAF`s Western Air Command (WAC), the largest and the most vital operational command of the IAF. He has succeeded Air Marshal P K Barbora, who retired yesterday.
Leading with a vision statement "People First Mission Always", he had ensured that the Command continued to maintain greater interaction with its three affiliated Army Commands - the Northern Command, Western Command and the South Western Command, which resulted in the successful conduct of many joint exercises, such as the Yodha Shakti in May 2010, said and IAF release.
The command continues to provide round the year air support to the Army units deployed in the glacier/northern region as well.
With a commitment to enhancing the operational capability of WAC which occupies an important place in the modernisation process of the IAF, Browne stressed upon the infrastructure development especially in the northern region, induction and speedy operationalisation of new equipment, aviation and maintenance safety and welfare of the air warriors who are the greatest asset of the organisation.
Under his command and personal supervision, the first ever landing of an AN-32 aircraft took place at Nyoma, Advance Landing Ground (ALG) on September 18, 2009. This significant landing of a fixed wing aircraft at a height of 13,300 ft marked the successful culmination of joint effort by the IAF and the Army to operate in inhospitable terrain of Leh-Ladakh in support of Army as also to provide the IAF with alternate deployment options in the northern sector.
The development of Nyoma would also ensure that air movements in the area continue when road traffic gets affected during Winters besides promoting tourism of the general area.
He oversaw the massive disaster relief efforts in the flood-affected Leh region, post cloudburst in August 2010 for dedicated casualty evacuation, relief efforts and transportation of heavy bridging and communication equipment in the Leh Region.
All out efforts were made towards re-operationalisation of the Leh runway in record time to ensure that the civil and military flights continue to operate.