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


01 Aug 72 -
Air Commodore
Virendra Mohan Bhatnagar
3067 F(P)
AOC
Simla

Unknown -
Air Commodore
Pattathil Venugopal
4431 F(P)
AOC
Simla

Unknown - 01 Jun 92
Air Vice Marshal
Dhan Singh Nagi
5305 F(P)
AOC
Chandimandir

01 Jun 92 - 01 Jan 94
Air Vice Marshal
Kodendera Cariappa Cariappa
5376 F(P)
AOC
Chandimandir

01 Jan 94 -
Air Vice Marshal
Darshan Singh Basra
6519 F(P)
AOC
Chandimandir

Unknown - 17 Aug 98
Air Vice Marshal
Tej Mohan Asthana
7672 F(P)
AOC
Chandimandir

17 Aug 98 -
Air Vice Marshal
Manpreet Singh Brar
8715 F(P)
AOC
Chandimandir

Unknown - 31 Jul 01
Air Vice Marshal
Brijendra Mohan Bali
8438 F(P)
AOC
Chandimandir

Unknown - 01 Oct 03
Air Vice Marshal
Dhanwant Singh Guram
10916 F(P)
AOC
Chandimandir

01 Oct 03 - 30 Sep 04
Air Vice Marshal
Satish Kumar Sofat
12207 F(P)
AOC
Chandimandir

01 Dec 04 - 30 Apr 05
Air Vice Marshal
Charanjit Singh Gill
11645 F(P)
AOC
Chandimandir

01 Jun 05 -
Air Vice Marshal
Ajit Singh
13147 F(P)
AOC
Chandimandir

Unknown - 23 Mar 10
Air Vice Marshal
Arup Raha
13910 F(P)
AOC
Chandimandir

Unknown -
Air Vice Marshal
Prashant Nagaraja Kaushik
16783 F(P)
AOC
Chandimandir

Unknown - 11 Nov 18
Air Vice Marshal
Suraj Kumar Jha
17445 F(P)
AOC
Chandimandir

12 Nov 18 - 31 Mar 19
Air Vice Marshal
Bakul Vaikunthrai Upadhyay
18281 F(P)
AOC
Chandimandir

01 Apr 19 -
Air Vice Marshal
Manish Khanna
18554 F(P)
AOC
Chandimandir

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.