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Air Marshal Pranab Kumar Barbora

Service No 12375 Branch F(P)
Date of Birth: -- --- --
Date Commissioned 13 Jun 1970 Course 104 Course
Service End Retired on 31 Dec 2010
Remarks :
Promotions Gazetted
Wg Cdr : 02 Jun 1990Gp Capt : 01 May 1994Air Cmde : 12 Jan 1998AVM : 12 Jan 2004
Air Marshal : 07 Sep 2005C-in-C : 01 Apr 2007
Google the Bharat Rakshak Website for : "P K Barbora"
Notes: 1) Ranks shown are substantive ranks at retirement. 2)Branch is at retirement and may not match with branch at Commission 3)Notional seniority is reflected in dates of substantive rank.

Appointments, Postings & Other Service Particulars

01 Jun 1987 - 01 Jun 1989Wg CdrNo.29 SquadronJamnagar CO
- Air CmdeEmbassy of India, RussiaMoscow Air Attache
25 Oct 2001 - 13 Oct 2003Air Cmde11 WingTezpur AOC
- AVMIntegrated Defence StaffNew Delhi ACIDS (PP &FS)
- AVMAir Head QuartersDelhi ACAS (Inspection)
01 Sep 2005 - 31 Mar 2007Air MshlEastern Air CommandShillong SASO
01 Apr 2007 - 31 Dec 2007Air MshlEastern Air CommandShillong AOC-in-C
01 Jan 2008 - 31 May 2009Air MshlWestern Air CommandDelhi AOC-in-C
01 Jun 2009 - 31 Dec 2010Air MshlAir Head QuartersDelhi VCAS
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Awards and Decorations

Number of Awards: 2
Vayu Sena Medal
Wg CdrPranab Kumar Barbora12375 F(P)Award Date Announced 26 Jan 1990
Details :

Wing Commander Pranab Kumar Barbora was commissioned on 13 Jan 70. He has to his credit over 3000 hours of accident-free flying. He is a qualified flying instructor as well as a fighter combat leader.

Wg Cdr Barbora has been in command of an operational squadron since Jun 87. On taking over command of the squadron, he whole-heartedly devoted himself the task of developing his unit into a well-knit and cohesive force. During his command, his squadron flew over 8300 sorties and 4800 hours while maintaining a very high average aircraft serviceability of 78%. Under his leadership, the Squadron achieved 100% serviceability on 4 different occasions. The Squadron achieved a very high pilots operational status of over 90% throughout his tenure. During the Gunnery meet of 1988, the Squadron was adjudged "The Best Overall Squadron".

For his professional acumen and devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr Pranab Kumar Barbora.

Unit : 29 Sqn
Reference : Gazette of India dated 12th May 1990 - No.38-Pres/90 dated 26th January 1990
Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air MarshalPranab Kumar Barbora12375 F(P)Award Date 26 Jan 2008Announced 26 Jan 2008
Details : AOC-in-C EAC
Unit : EAC
Reference :

Additional Notes

Remarks: Profile Note added: 2009-02-08
Air Marshal PK Barbora, Vayu Sena Medal, was born in December 1950 in Shillong and commissioned as a fighter pilot in June 1970. He is a very experienced flier and has flown over 3500 hours. He took part in the 1971 war.
He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and a Fighter Combat Leader and has been on the Staff of Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment. He has also served two tenures in the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection at Air Headquarters. He is a graduate of College of Combat, Mhow (Higher Command).
During his service career he has had the distinction of being part of the team during formation of the first Jaguar Squadron of the IAF and also inducting the Air Combat Simulator into the IAF, the first of its kind in Asia. He has held many operational assignments, such as Commanding Officer of a MiG-21 Squadron and Air combat Simulator Unit, Chief Operations Officer of a fighter Wing. He has served as Air Officer Commanding of a premier fighter Station. He has held the appointment of Air Attaché at the Embassy of India, Moscow and Assistant Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Perspective Plans and Force Structure) in HQ Integrated Defence Staff and Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Inspection) at Air Headquarters (RK Puram). The Air Officer was promoted to the rank of Air Marshal on 07 Sep 05 and assigned the appointment of Senior Air Staff Officer at Eastern Air Command, IAF. With effect from 02 Apr 07 the Air Marshal, who is the first personality from the Defence Services hailing from the North East, was promoted and posted to the prestigious appointment of Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Air Command. The Air Officer has assumed the command of Western Air Command on 01st January 2008.
He is married and has two children. His hobbies include music and reading. He is also a keen golfer.
Remarks: VCAS Note added: 2009-06-02

Air Marshal Pranab Kumar Barbora PVSM VM ADC assumed charge as the new Vice Chief of the Air Staff (VCAS) at Air Headquarters, today. He was formerly the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) of IAF’s Western Air Command (WAC) and Eastern Air Command (EAC).

A dynamic personality whose belief in fighting as a team, led to increased interaction between WAC and the other Army Commands of Northern, Western and South Western Commands resulting in the successful culmination of some flag-bearer joint exercises - ‘Achook Waar’, ‘Udaan Prahaar’ and ‘Hind Shakti’. The command continues to provide air support to Army units deployed in the glacier region.

Among other accomplishments achieved during his tenure as the Chief of IAF’s largest operational command include the reactivation of Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) airfield after over four decades of closure and that of the Fuk Che Advanced Landing Ground (ALG). The Su-30 MKIs also operated from Leh – unarguably the highest airbase in the world during his tenure.

Under his command, WAC achieved very high aircraft utilization rates even as night operations by the fighter and transport aircraft increased substantially. Strikingly, the operational command that accounts for nearly thirty-five percent of IAF’s flying task recorded ‘zero’ flying accident rate at the end of the last fiscal year – an achievement unheralded before.

Air Marshal Barbora was born on December 10, 1950 in Shillong and was commissioned into the IAF as a Fighter Pilot on June 13, 1970. A highly experienced aviator with over 3500 hours to his credit, he took part in the 1971 war.

A qualified Flying Instructor and a Fighter Combat Leader, he has been on the staff of Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment - a premiere flying establishment of the IAF. He twice served in the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection (DASI) at Air Headquarters. He is a graduate of the College of Combat, Mhow where he completed his higher command course.

He was a member of the IAF team that inducted the first Jaguar Squadron and also the IAF’s maiden Air Combat Simulator - the first of its kind in Asia. Among his several operational assignments include Command of a MiG-21 squadron, Chief Operations Officer of a fighter airbase and Air Officer Commanding of a premier fighter airbase under Eastern Air Command.

He has been Air Attaché at the Embassy of India, Moscow and Assistant Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Perspective Plans and Force Structure) in HQ Integrated Defence Staff besides holding the appointment of Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Inspection) at Air Headquarters. He served tenure as Senior Air Staff Officer, EAC before he took charge as the AOC-in-C for the first time. He subsequently became the AOC-in-C of WAC.

He is the first personality hailing from the North East to reach such a coveted high post in the Armed Forces. Air Marshal Barbora is a recipient of Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) and Vayu Sena Medal (VM). He is also one of the Honorary Aides-de-Camp (ADC) to the President, who is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of India.