Air Marshal Saju Balakrishnan took charge as the Commander-in-Chief of the strategically vital Andaman and Nicobar Command, which is India’s only tri-services command. Air Marshal Balakrishnan is the 17th Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command (CINCAN). He succeeds Lt Gen Ajai Singh.
The Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC), the only tri-services command in India, is serving as a model for the ambitious theaterisation plan that is aimed at bringing greater synergy among the Army, the Navy and the Air Force. The ANC has been playing a key role in keeping a strict vigil in the Indian Ocean in the wake of China’s growing forays into the region. Air Marshal Balakrishnan, a distinguished alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, was commissioned into the fighter stream of the Indian Air Force (IAF) in 1986.
With over 3,200 accident-free fighter flying hours on various variants of MIG-21 and Kiran aircraft, he is an accomplished fighter combat leader. The Air Marshal has held various key positions throughout his illustrious career, including commanding officer of a Bison squadron, the first Commanding Officer of an AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) squadron, and Air Officer Commanding at the prestigious Air Force Station at Jodhpur. Before assuming Command of the ANC he was the senior Air Staff Officer at the IAF Training Command at Bengaluru.