Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa took over as the 25th Chief of the Air Staff on January 1, 2017.
Commissioned into the Flying Branch of the IAF as a fighter pilot in June 1978, Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa is a Cat ‘A’ Qualified Flying Instructor and has over 3,000 hours of flying on a variety of fighter aircraft with an impeccable flight safety record.
He is an alumnus of Rashtriya Indian Military College, the National Defence Academy and the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington.
The Air Chief Marshal has several laurels to his credit. As Commanding Officer of a front line ground attack fighter squadron, equipped with MiG-21 aircraft, he led the IAF during the ‘limited war’ against Pakistan in 1999 to evict the enemy from the icy heights of Kargil. For his outstanding bravery and leadership during the conflict, he was awarded Yudh Seva Medal (YSM).
He has held a number of command and staff appointments at operational commands, Joint Training Establishments and Air Headquarters. He has been Director Targeting Cell and Director Fighter Operations, Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Intelligence) at Air Headquarters, Senior Air Staff Officer at Eastern and Western Air Commands as also the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief at South Western Air Command. For his experience and professional excellence, he was handpicked to establish an ‘IAF Training Team’ abroad.
Before taking over as the Chief of the Air Staff, he was the Vice Chief of the Air Staff since June 1, 2015. In recognition of his meritorious services, he has been conferred the awards of PVSM, AVSM, YSM and VM by the President of India.
He is married to Mrs Kamalpreet and they have one son Jasman who is a law graduate.