Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday condoled the sudden demise of former Air Marshal (Retd) PK Barbora and stated that it is a great loss to the nation.
Taking to platform X, the Assam Chief Minister wrote, “Deeply anguished to learn about the sudden demise of Air Marshal (Retd) PK Barbora. An illustrious Air Force veteran, he was also the first officer from the North East to be promoted to the rank of Air Marshal. His demise is a great loss to our nation. My deepest condolences to his bereaved family members. Om Shanti.”
The Former Indian Air Force (IAF) vice-chief, PK Barbora passed away earlier today at the Army Research and Referral Hospital in Delhi. He was 72. He was reportedly undergoing treatment at the hospital following an illness.
Born in Shillong, Air Marshal Barbora embarked on his illustrious journey as a fighter pilot when he was commissioned into the IAF on June 13, 1970. Throughout his career, he accumulated extensive flying experience, amassing more than 3,500 flight hours.
A highly experienced aviator with over 3,500 hours to his credit, he took part in the 1971 war.
A qualified Flying Instructor and a Fighter Combat Leader, he was on the staff of Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment - a premiere flying establishment of the IAF. He twice served in the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection (DASI) at Air Headquarters. He was a graduate of the College of Combat, Mhow where he completed his higher command course.
He was a member of the IAF team that inducted the first Jaguar Squadron and also the IAF’s maiden Air Combat Simulator - the first of its kind in Asia. Among his several operational assignments include Command of a MiG-21 squadron, Chief Operations Officer of a fighter airbase and Air Officer Commanding of a premier fighter airbase under Eastern Air Command.
He has been Air Attaché at the Embassy of India, Moscow and Assistant Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Perspective Plans and Force Structure) in HQ Integrated Defence Staff besides holding the appointment of Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Inspection) at Air Headquarters. He served tenure as Senior Air Staff Officer, EAC before he took charge as the AOC-in-C for the first time. He subsequently became the AOC-in-C of WAC.
He was the first personality hailing from the North East to reach such a coveted high post in the Armed Forces. Air Marshal Barbora is a recipient of Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) and Vayu Sena Medal (VM). He is also one of the Honorary Aides-de-Camp (ADC) to the President, who is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of India.