31/12/2016 5:05 PM IST | Updated 31/12/2016 7:41 PM IST

Lt General Bipin Rawat Takes Charge As New Army Chief, Air Marshal B S Dhanoa Takes Over The IAF

General Bakshi to stay despite being passed over.

Indian Army

General Bipin Rawat today took over as the 26th Chief of Indian Army superseding the Eastern Army Commander General Paraveen Bakshi and Southern Army Commander General P M Hariz. Air Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa took over as the Chief of the Indian Air Force today in New Delhi.

General Bakshi in his address to officers and men at Fort William, the headquarters of the Eastern Command, said that he would continue to command. The military is hierarchy conscious and it was widely believed General Bakshi would step down after being passed over.

He told officers at Fort William that as the Government got down to decide on the next chief there was a malicious slander campaign against him. General Baskhi told his men that instead of putting in his papers he would fight to expose the internal enemies who maligned him, top sources told Huffington Post.

"I convey my best wishes and full support of Eastern Command to General Bipin Rawat," General Bakshi said in his address. Later General Bakshi spoke to the Army Chief to congratulate him personally.

With General Bipin Rawat taking over as the Chief of Army Staff, the all crucial position of Vice-Chief of Army Staff falls vacant. It is understood the current South Western Army Commander General Sarath Chand is likely to be appointed as the Vice-Chief.

Air Marshal Dhanoa joined the IAF in 1978 as a fighter pilot. He will be the 25th chief of Indian Air Force. He commanded a squadron and flew several strike missions during the Kargil war. Air Marshal Dhanoa is a "Category A" Flying Instructor and has flown various types of fighter aircraft.

In his address to the IAF, the Air Chief Marshal said "the IAF is on a trajectory of modernisation and is transforming into a strategic aerospace power with full-spectrum capability. Increase in capabilities through new acquisitions, replacement of obsolete equipment and upgrade of the vintage weapon platforms would bolster our capabilities."

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