Advance HQ, Western Air Command


Date Raised : 1972-08-01 Location : Chandimandir
The concept of an organised coordinating agency for planning and executing joint Army/Air Operations appeared soon after birth of the IAF. The need for such an organisation was realised immediately after the J&K 1947-48 operation in which the IAF was called upon to assist formations of Indian Army involved in the operations. Earlier this task was performed by suitable units of RAF in India. The first joint Army/Air coordination cell of post independent India, called No. 1 Air Task Force, was thus formed to work in conjunction with No. 11 Corps of the Indian Army. The results obtained through such organised co- operation were so successful that it was decided to form similar joint co-ordination cells. In order to give shape to this decision, a detachment of No. 1 Tactical (Air Support) Group was moved to Shimla in Jan 55 to function alongside HQ Western Command. The Commander of No. 1 Tactical (Air Force) Group, Group Captain HS Ratnagar, (based at Jalandhar) also exercised command over this element. This detachment continued to function till the Advance Headquarters, Operational Command, IAF was duly established at Shimla on 15 July 59. Air Cmde SN Goyal took over as the first Air Officer-in-Charge. In Aug 72, this HQ was renamed as Advance HQ WAC, IAF (on raising of Western Air Command) and Air Cmde VN Bhatnagar, then Air Officer-in-Charge was reposted as AOC, Adv HQ WAC, IAF. This HQ has continued to be located " "within the HQ Western Command complex and moved with it from Shimla to Chandimandir during Jan-Feb 85. The role of Adv HQ WAC, IAF at the time of its formation was to exercise functional control in conducting joint operations/exercises with HQ Western Command, maintain liaison with HQ Western Command on behalf of HQ Operational Command and exercise functional control over Nos. 1 and 4 Tactical Air Centres (TAC) and flying units which were placed under its control from time to time. However, this HQ is now exercising functional control over 1, 8, 9 and 10 TACs and the role has subsequently been expanded.
Unit previously existed as AdvOpsCmd

Commanding Officers

View in Grid

DatesRank & NameNumberRemarksLocationPhoto
01 Aug 72 to Air Commodore Virendra Mohan Bhatnagar3067 F(P)AOCSimla
Unknown to Air Commodore Pattathil Venugopal4431 F(P)AOCSimla
Unknown to 01 Jun 92Air Vice Marshal Dhan Singh Nagi5305 F(P)AOCChandimandir
01 Jun 92 to 01 Jan 94Air Vice Marshal Kodendera Cariappa Cariappa5376 F(P)AOCChandimandir
01 Jan 94 to Air Vice Marshal Darshan Singh Basra6519 F(P)AOCChandimandir
Unknown to 17 Aug 98Air Vice Marshal Tej Mohan Asthana7672 F(P)AOCChandimandir
17 Aug 98 to Air Vice Marshal Manpreet Singh Brar8715 F(P)AOCChandimandir
Unknown to 31 Jul 01Air Vice Marshal Brijendra Mohan Bali8438 F(P)AOCChandimandir
Unknown to 01 Oct 03Air Vice Marshal Dhanwant Singh Guram10916 F(P)AOCChandimandir
01 Oct 03 to 30 Sep 04Air Vice Marshal Satish Kumar Sofat12207 F(P)AOCChandimandir
01 Dec 04 to 30 Apr 05Air Vice Marshal Charanjit Singh Gill11645 F(P)AOCChandimandir
01 Jun 05 to Air Vice Marshal Ajit Singh13147 F(P)AOCChandimandir
Unknown to 23 Mar 10Air Vice Marshal Arup Raha13910 F(P)AOCChandimandir
Unknown to Air Vice Marshal Prashant Nagaraja Kaushik16783 F(P)AOCChandimandir
Unknown to 11 Nov 18Air Vice Marshal Suraj Kumar Jha17445 F(P)AOCChandimandir
12 Nov 18 to 31 Mar 19Air Vice Marshal Bakul Vaikunthrai Upadhyay18281 F(P)AOCChandimandir
01 Apr 19 to Air Vice Marshal Manish Khanna18554 F(P)AOCChandimandir

Note: All the data available here is publicly available in the Gazette of India, published by the Indian Government, or from public domain sources, press releases about Awards and Right-To-Information (RTI) Requests. Additionally data shared by veterans is added to the page with permission. No data with respect to serving officers below the rank of AVM is displayed. Information in Gazette of India and Award citations and photographs as released by the Indian Air Force are the only details displayed.