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Southern Air Command

Headquartered at Trivandrum (official name Thiruvananthapuram), in the state of Kerala, Southern Air Command was formed in July 1984. The Command's Area of Responsibility covers the southern states of India, the Bay of Bengal, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands near Sumatra, and Lakshwadeep.

Permanent airfields assigned to the Command are Bangalore, Begumpet, Bidar, Dundigal, Hakimpet, Tambaram, as well as Port Blair and Carl Nicobar. The Command also has forward airbases located at Madurai and Salur.

Though Southern Air command possesse no combat units of its own, it could should the situation require it, as was the case in 1987 when Mirage 2000 aircraft were dispatched from Central Air Command to take part in operations in Maldives.

Till mid 1984 Central Air Command, was responsible for the air defence of Southern peninsula & island territories. The Air Force establishments in Southern India barring Air Force Station Pune consisted mainly of training establishments without any operational role. With the change in geo-political situation around the peninsula and with the induction of long range strike aircraft, southern region was no longer perceived immune to air threat. The Ministry, therefore, felt an urgent need for the establishment of a new Air Command for Southern India and island territories. CCPA2 approved in July 1984 formation of Southern Air Command. The plan envisaged setting up of Southern Air Command and nine Forward Base Support Units/ Mini Wings to be equipped with the entire range of air operations, maritime support, transport support and reconnaissance operations to be completed by March 1995 in three phases.

The Southern Air Command is headed by an Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief who exercises control over all Air Force units located in the Command. AOC-in-C Southern Command is responsible to the Chief of Air Staff, Air HQ and is assisted by Senior Air Staff Officer, Senior Maintenance Staff Officer and Senior Officer Incharge Administration in performance of his duties. A steering Committee under the Chairmanship of the Vice Chief of Air Staff was set up and made responsible for the implementation of the plans for setting up of the Command as a whole. AOC-in-C Southern Air command was one of the members of the Committee.

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