Shillong (Meghalaya) [India], October 1 (ANI): Air Marshal SP Dharkar on Saturday took over as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Indian Air Force's Eastern Air Command from Air Marshal R D Mathur in Shillong, officials said.
According to Indian Air Force (IAF) officials, an experienced fighter pilot with over 3600 hours of flying, he succeeds Air Marshal DK Patnaik who superannuated on Friday after more than 38 years of distinguished service in the IAF.
Air Marshal Dharkar is an alumnus of the Rashtriya Indian Military College Dehradun, National Defence Academy Pune, Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and Air War College, USA.
Commissioned in June 1985, he is a Qualified Flying Instructor, Fighter Strike Leader and Instrument Rating Instructor & Examiner and has also been an Air Force Examiner.
During his illustrious career, he has commanded a front-line fighter squadron and a Fighter Flying Training Establishment.
He has instructional experience in conducting Professional Military Education for medium and senior-level officers at the Defence Services Staff College and at the College of Air Warfare, Secunderabad.
Air Marshal Dharkar has served as Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Training) at Air Headquarters and Air Defence Commander at Headquarters Eastern Air Command.
He has the distinction of being the first Director General of the Defence Space Agency. Before assuming his present appointment, he was the Senior Air Staff Officer at Headquarters South Western Air Command at Gandhinagar. (ANI)