Air Marshal Saju Balakrishnan AVSM, VM

The Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) has a new Commander-in-Chief, Air Marshal Saju Balakrishnan, who has replaced Lt Gen Ajai Singh. With this appointment, Air Marshal Balakrishnan has become the 17th Commander-in-Chief of the ANC.

Who is Air Marshal Saju Balakrishnan?

Air Marshal Saju Balakrishnan was commissioned into the Indian Air Force (IAF) in 1986 and was part of the fighter stream. He has over 3200 flying hours on various variants of MIG-21 and Kiran aircraft. He has held various command, staff and instructional appointments, including as the first Commanding Officer of an AWACS Squadron. Prior to assuming the position of Commander-in-Chief of the ANC, Air Marshal Saju Balakrishnan served as the Senior Air Staff Officer at the IAF Training Command located in Bengaluru.  He has been awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal for his distinguished service.

What is the Andaman and Nicobar Command?

The Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) is India’s only tri-services command, comprising the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force. It was created in 2001 to safeguard India’s strategic interests in Southeast Asia and the Strait of Malacca. The ANC is responsible for defending India’s eastern seaboard and its extended neighborhood, including the Bay of Bengal and the Malacca Strait.

Why is the ANC important?

The ANC is strategically important for India as it is the country’s only command that integrates the capabilities of all three services – the Army, Navy and Air Force. It plays a crucial role in enhancing India’s strategic reach and presence in the Indian Ocean region. The ANC has been instrumental in strengthening India’s ties with the countries of Southeast Asia and the Pacific. It is seen as a successful example of jointmanship and theatrisation of the armed forces.




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