Air Marshal Browne to be next IAF chief

Browne, who headed the IAF’s Western Air Command before assuming the charge as IAF vice chief, had flown many types of fighter aircraft including Hunters, all variants of MiG-21, Jaguars and Su-30 in his flying career.

Known as a perfectionist with a non-nonsense attitude, his major task in the next two and half years would be steering the introduction of 126 medium multi-role fighter aircraft in the IAF and the induction of indigenous light combat aircraft.

A graduate of the Air Command and Staff College, Albama, USA, Browne had trained with the Royal Air Force in the United Kingdom, on Jaguar aircraft and went on to command the 16 Squadron (Cobras) comprising deep-penetrating Jaguars.

Browne could not get a chance to participate in Bangladesh war as he was commissioned six months after the war ended. He also missed out the Operation Safed Sagar – the IAF support to ground troops during the Kargil era – as he was in Israel from 1997 to July 2000 where he served as a Defence Attache responsible for establishing Indian defence wing.
Subsequently, he served as the Chief Operations Officer of the first Su-30 Base at Pune and went on to command the same base during 2000-03, when the upgraded multi-role Su-30 MKI was inducted in the IAF.

As a chief of the Western Air Command, Browne was responsible for reviving the advanced landing grounds in the Ladakh region like Daulat Beig Oldie, Fuckche and Nyoma, which is closest to the Sino-Indian border.

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