Southern Air Command (SAC)
Raised : 19 July 84
Current Location : Trivandrum, Kerala
List of AOCs-in-C : Click to View
With its headquarters located at Akkulam in Trivandrum (Kerala), it controls air operations in the southern sector which includes all the southern states, the Bay of Bengal, the Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Lakshwadeep. Southern Air Command features permanent airbases at Bidar, Bangalore, Begumpet, Dundigal, Hakimpet, Tambaram, Port Blair and Car Nicobar with forward airbases at Madurai and Salur. Some airbases also have training and support units. SAC features no combat aircraft squadrons, but could do so in an emergency like the operations in Maldives in 1987 where Mirage 2000s from Gwalior AFB in Central Air Command participated.
Southern Air Command with its Headquarters at Trivandrum was born on 19 Jul 84 out of the changed geopolitical situation around Southern peninsula since early eighties Super Power rivalry in Indian ocean, attempts to destabilise the littoral states and continued ethnic problems in Sri Lanka compelled the defence planners to look afresh the Defence requirements of peninsular India in order toe ffectively defend the Island territories and protect our exclusive economic zones extending deep into the oceans. The need was felt to establish a full fledged Operational Air Command covering the geopolitical area of peninsular India extending to 18 deg N including the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal and Lakshadweep islands in the Arabian sea. Accordingly, on 20 Jul 84, Smt lndira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of inaugurated of Headquarters Southern Air Command at Trivandrum at “Belhaven Palace”, an old palace of Maharaja of Travancore located in the heart of Thiruvananthapuram city. Initially, the Command exercised control over 5 lodger units. In a short span of 15 years, the Command has grown and now has 17 lodger units under its jurisdiction.
A paper on formation of SAC was presented to the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs on 10 Jul 84 and the sanction was obtained on 19 Jul 84. The Prime Minister Smt Indira Gandhi inaugurated the Southern Air Command Headquarters on 20 Jul 84 in the presence of the then Defence Minister Shri R Venkataraman. The CAS, Air Chief Marshal Dilbagh Singh, first AOC-in-C of SAC, Air Marshal TJ Desa and a host of other Civilian and service officers were special invites to the solemn occasion.
With the increase in strength of personnel and operational importance, construction of permanent accommodation for the Command Headquarters was planned at Akkulam. Accordingly the construction of permanent Command Headquarters was completed and the Headquarters moved from Belhaven Palace to Akkulam on 08 Aug 1996.
Click here for the Official Website of SOUTHERN AIR COMMAND
An official film on Southern Air Command can be viewed on the Bharat Rakshak IAF TV Channel on Youtube