Bengaluru: With 39 years of service, more than 4259 flying hours and an experience of flying more than 26 types of fight aircraft and transport aircraft, Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria took over as the chief of air staff. 

An alumnus of the prestigious National Defence Academy, he graduated from the Air Force Academy with the coveted ‘Sword of Honour’ and was commissioned in the fighter stream of Indian Air Force on 15 June 1980.

His appointments include commander of a jaguar squadron at a frontline base in south-western sector; he was also commanding officer of Flight Test Squadron at Aircraft and System Testing Establishment; Chief Test Pilot and Project Director of National Flight Test Centre on the Tejas LCA project. He is also an experimental Test Pilot, a Category A qualified Flying Instructor and a Pilot Attack Instructor.

Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (January 2013)
Vayu Sena Medal (January 2002)
 Param Vishisht Seva Medal (January 2018)

He was appointed honorary Aide De Campe to the President of India on January 2019

He has the credit of devising a method for carrying bombing from the Jaguar aircraft using the Global Positioning System (GPS). This was especially relevant for the bombing role of Jaguar aircraft in Operation Safed Sagar in 1999.

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 Rafale aircraft.

He was the Air Attache at the Indian Embassy in Moscow, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Projects), Commandant of the National Defence Academy, Deputy Chief of the Air Staff at Air Head Quarter and Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Air Command, as reported by Economic Times.