Air Marshal NJS Dhillon, on Sunday, took over the charge as the new Commander-in-Chief of the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) which looks after the nuclear arsenal of the country, informed the officials.

He succeeds Air Marshal JS Walia.

April 1, 2019, was the first working day for Air Marshal Dhillon. He was commissioned as a fighter pilot in the IAF on 11 December 1981. He has over 3700 hours of accident-free flying to his credit including 5800 sorties on all variants of MiG-21 aircraft.

Prior to taking over as the Commander-in-Chief, Strategic Forces Command (SFC), he was the Senior Air Staff, HQ WAC. He has the rare distinction of being the longest-serving Senior Air Staff officer of the Western Air Command in the last four decades. For his distinguished service, he was also awarded Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) by the Hon’ble President of India in 2013.

In 1991, he topped the Fighter Strike Leader Course at TACDE. He also served in TACDE as Deputy Commandant. He held a number of coveted appointments which include command of MiG-21 Squadron, command o* a Fighter Station in South-Western Sector, command of a helicopter base in DR Congo as part of UN Peace Keeping Mission, Chief Operations Officer of a premier flying base, Principal Director Air Defence at Air HQ, Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Inspection) at Air HQ and Air Defence Commander HQ SAC.

Air Marshal Dhillon AVSM is an alumnus of Sainik School Kapurthala, National Defence Academy, Defence Service Staff College, Wellington and National Defence Academy, Defence Service Staff College, Wellington and National Defence College. He is married to Mrs Simmar Dhillon and is a respected responsible father of a daughter and son.

(The writer is a Delhi-based independent contributor to print and online publications)