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.
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