NEW DELHI: Air Marshal Harjit Singh Arora AVSM took over as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C), South Western Air Command at Gandhinagar on 01 October 18.nnHe succeeds Air Mshl RK Dhir PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC who retired on 30 September 18.nnThe Air Marshal was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in December 1981. He has rich and diverse experience of accident free operational flying which includes MiG 21, MiG 29 and other aircraft in IAF inventory, including helicopters.nnHe is a meritorious graduate of Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment, Defence Services Staff College and National Defence College. He is also Master of Philosophy in Defence and Strategic Studies.nnAir Officer commanded a MiG-21 Bis Sqn in the South Western sector and later was Commander of Air Defence Direction Centre in the same sector. He went on to command a premier MiG-29 Base on the western border and as an Air Vice Marshal he was Air Defence Commander at Headquarters of Western Air Command as well as Eastern Air Command.nnAs an Air Marshal he has held the appointments of Director General (Inspection and Safety) and was Director General Air (Operations) at Air HQ before taking over as the AOC-in-C.nnHe has also served as Directing Staff at ?Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment? and as a Flying Inspector in the ?Directorate of Air Staff Inspection?.nnHe was Defence Attache in the Embassy of India, Bangkok, Thailand from 2006 to 2009.nnFor his distinguished service, he was awarded ?Ati Vishisht Seva Medal? by the President of India on 26 Jan 2011.nnThe Air Marshal is married to Mrs Baljeet Kaur Arora. In a simultaneous function Baljeet Arora took over as President, Air Force Wives Welfare Association (Regional).