Shillong: Air Marshal Dilip Kumar Patnaik on Sunday took over as the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Air Command headquarters here in Meghalaya, an Indian Air Force (IAF) official said.
Air Marshal Patnaik succeeds Air Marshal Amit Dev who took over as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Air Command.
Before assuming Command of Eastern Air Command, he was the Senior Air Staff Officer at Headquarter, Central Air Command.
Headquartered in Shillong, the Eastern Air Command’s area of responsibility covers 11 states. It has permanent airbases at Chabua, Guwahati, Bagdogra, Barrackpore, Hasimara, Jorhat, Kalaikunda and Tezpur with forwarding bases at Agartala, Kolkata, Panagarh and Shillong.
Air Marshal Patnaik flew many live bombing missions during the Kargil conflict for which he was awarded the Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry). For his distinguished service of exceptional order, he was awarded Ati Vishist Seva Medal in January 2020.
An alumnus of National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, Defence Services Staff College and College of Air Warfare, Air Marshal Patnaik was commissioned into the fighter stream of the Indian Air Force on June 8, 1984.
Air Marshal Patnaik has more than 2500 hours of accident-free fighter flying on various types of aircraft.
The Air Officer has tenanted a number of important appointments including command of a frontline fighter base, Assistant Chief of Air Staff Operations (Air Defence) and Commandant, College of Air Warfare.