Shillong: Senior Air Staff Officer at Headquarters South Western Air Command at Gandhinagar, Air Marshal SP Dharkar on Saturday assumed charge as the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Headquarters Eastern Air Command here in Meghalaya, officials said.
Air Marshal Dharkar succeeds DK Patnaik who superannuated on September 30 after more than 38 years of distinguished service in the Indian Air Force.
Commissioned in June 1985, Air Marshal Dharkar is a qualified flying instructor, fighter strike leader and instrument rating instructor & examiner and has also been an Air Force examiner.
An experienced fighter pilot with over 3600 hours of flying, the newly appointed Air Force of Eastern Air Command is an alumnus of the Rashtriya Indian Military College Dehradun, National Defence Academy Pune, Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and Air War College, USA.
During his illustrious career, he has commanded a front-line fighter squadron and a Fighter Flying Training Establishment.
Air Marshal Dharkar 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.
He 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.