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Tri-service command likely at Thiruvananthapuram
Thiruvananthapuram | August 30, 2006 2:50:12 PM IST
 
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A new tri-service command is likely to be set up at the Southern Air Command (SAC) here, outgoing Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Air Marshal S Y Savur said today.

''The discussions are going on and so far the SAC is a front runner for setting up the command,'' he told reporters here.

Earlier, there was a proposal to set up an Aerospace Command here, Air Marshal Savur said, adding that on account of the larger responsibility it had been decided to integrate all the three forces under a single command.

On the development programmes at the SAC, he said a full-fledged Air Force station would be set up here within three years. As part of the expansion of the station, a new tarmac would come up and talks in this regard had been held with the Airports Authority.

''Some land has to be given to the Airports Authority at Pune in exchange of the land that they give us here,'' he added.

He said once the tarmac was ready, a fighter squadron would be stationed at Thiruvanthapuram.

Noting that the SAC was strategically important, Air Marshal said ''the importance of SAC had gone up with the increase of commerce.'' The SAC's role is increasing owing to its proximity to international trade and oil routes'' he said.

As part of other expansion programmes, he said ''Thanchavur'' in Tamil Nadu would be converted into a full-fledged airfield, adding that the airstrip at Coimbatore was being expanded to make it fit to operate any type of aircraft in the country.

Air Marshal Savur will retire from service tomorrow and Air Marshal P S Ahluwalia would take his position on September one.

Air Marshal Savur took over the SAC command of the SAC on October 1, 2004. Having commanded three important stations, he had held various staff appointments in Air Headquarters and was the Senior Air-Staff Officer (SASO) in the Eastern Air Command. He is also a recipient of the Param Vishisht Seva Medal and the Ati Vishisht Seva medal.

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