Air Marshal Jolly takes over as Eastern Air Command chief

Kolkata, Jan.2: The start of the new year has seen a change of guard at the helm in two operational commands of the Army and Indian Air Force (IAF) in the eastern sector.

On Wednesday, Lt. Gen. M M S Rai assumed command of the Eastern Command in Kolkata. Simultaneously, Air Marshal Rajesh Kumar Jolly also took over as the new AOC-in-C, Eastern Air Command at Shillong on Wednesday.

Air Marshal Jolly, formerly AOC-in-C, Southern Air Command, has now the distinction of heading two IAF operational commands consecutively. He succeeds Air Marshal R K Sharma, who has since taken over as the Vice Chief of Air Staff at Air Headquarters, New Delhi.

The new AOC-in-C was presented with the ‘Ceremonial Guard of Honour’ by air warriors of HQ EAC on assuming command.

A gold medalist graduate from Delhi University and an alumnus of National Defence Academy and Defence Services Staff College, Air Marshal Jolly was commissioned in the fighter stream of the IAF on July 11, 1975.

He has flown various aircraft, which include Hunter, Marut and all MiG-21 variants and has over 3800 hours of flying.

A qualified flying instructor, he has held many important field and staff appointments. He commanded a premier forward fighter airbase and was the Air Attach‚ at the Embassy of India in Washington D.C. from 2005 to 2008.

He has been the Senior Air Staff Officer, both at South Western Air Command and Southern Air Command.

He was awarded the Vayu Sena Medal in 1997 and Vishisht Seva Medal in 2003 for distinguished service. Air Marshal Jolly is also an honorary aide-de-camp to the President of India.

Meanwhile, Ms Meenakshi Jolly also assumed the charge as President (Regional), Air Force Wives Welfare Association at an official ceremony held at the HQ EAC, Shillong on Wednesday. (ANI)