New Delhi: Air Marshal PK Barbora, VSM, has taken over as the air officer commanding-in-chief, Western Air Command.
Air Marshal Barbora, born in December 1950 in Shillong, was commissioned as a fighter pilot in June 1970. A very experienced flier, he has flown over 3500 hours.
Air Marshal Barbora also took part in the 1971 war with Pakistan.
A qualified flying instructor and a fighter combat leader, Air Marshal Barbora has been on the staff of Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment. He has also served two tenures in the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection at Air Headquarters.
He is also a graduate of the College of Combat, Mhow (Higher Command).
During his service career he has had the distinction of being part of the team during formation of the first Jaguar squadron of the IAF and also inducting the Air Combat Simulator into the IAF, the first of its kind in Asia.
He has held many operational assignments, such as the commanding officer of a MiG-21 squadron and the air combat simulator unit, chief operations officer of a fighter wing. He has served as air officer commanding of a premier fighter station. He has held the appointment of air attaché at the Embassy of India, Moscow and assistant chief of integrated defence staff (perspective plans and force structure) in HQ Integrated Defence Staff and assistant chief of air staff (inspection) at the Air Headquarters.
He was promoted to the rank of Air Marshal on 07 September 2005 and appointed as senior air staff officer at the Eastern Air Command, IAF.
On 2 April 2007 Air Marshal Barbora was promoted and appointed as air officer commanding-in-chief, Eastern Air Command. Air Marshal Barbora will be the first personality the North East of the country to hold such a high rank, and such a prestigious appointment in the defence services.