Ahead of taking over as the next Strategic Forces Command Chief, Air Marshal Rajesh Kumar on Sunday paid tributes to the fallen soldiers at the National War Memorial in New Delhi.
He will succeed Air Marshal NS Dhillon, who will be superannuating today’s event.
Recently, the names of soldiers who lost their lives in the Galwan valley clash on June 15 last year have been engraved on the National War Memorial in New Delhi. 20 soldiers including Colonel Santosh Babu had lost their lives in a clash with Chinese troops in the Eastern Ladakh sector.
Air Marshal Rajesh Kumar, AVSM VM ADC is from Mayo College, Ajmer, and an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla. He was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the Indian Air Force as a Fighter Pilot in June 1982.
He was appointed as the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Central Air Command on January 1, 2019. He is a Category ‘A’ Qualified Flying Instructor, Instrument Rating Instructor, and an Air Crew Examiner.
Prior to assuming charge as the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Central Air Command, Kumar was Senior Air Staff Officer, Eastern Air Command and before that, Director, Indian Air Force Project Monitoring Team at Aeronautical Development Agency, Bengaluru where he was working on the prestigious Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) project.
In addition to various Staff appointments at Air Headquarters, the Air Officer has commanded a frontline Fighter Squadron and a Fighter Base.
A graduate of Air Command and Staff College at Montogomery, Alabama as well as College of Defence Management at Secunderabad, he was the Team Leader of the Air Force Project Monitoring Team for Air Borne Warning and Control System (AWACS) in Israel.
For his distinguished service, Kumar was awarded Ati Vishist Sewa Medal on January 26, 2019, by President Ram Nath Kovind and Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) during Op Parakram. He has also been commended by the Chief of the Air Staff. He has also been appointed as Honorary Air Aid’e De Camp to the President of India on October 1, 2019.