NEW DELHI (TIP): Ace fighter pilot Air Marshal Arup Raha has been appointed the next Chief of the Indian Air Force. He will succeed Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne, also a fighter pilot, on December 31. At present, Air Marshal Raha is the Vice-Chief of Air Staff. Air Marshal Raha was commissioned into the IAF on December 14, 1974 in the fighter stream of the flying branch. In his career spanning nearly 39 years, he has commanded the vital Western Air Command which is tasked with the responsibility of Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and parts of Rajasthan. During Operation ‘Parakaram’, he was the Commanding Officer of the MiG-29 squadron at Bathinda in Punjab. He then went on to be the Air Officer Commanding at the IAF base at Adampur near Jalandhar and Advance Headquarters, Western Air Command at Chandimandir.