Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria today took charge as the 26th Chief of the Indian Air Force. He succeeds Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, who retired after 41 years of service in the IAF. Air Marshal Bhadauria was commissioned in the fighter stream of the Indian Air Force in June 1980 and has held various command, staff and instructional positions. An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Bhadauria won the coveted Sword of Honour for standing first in the overall order of merit. Bhadauria also has 4,250 hours of flying experience on 26 types of fighters and transport aircraft. The Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria is one of the few Air Force pilots to fly a Rafale jet. In July, during Exercise Garuda between the Air Forces of India and France, Bhadauria had flown the aircraft.