Recently, the Indian Air Force appointed Air Vice Marshal Pawan Mohey VSM as Assistant Chief of Air Staff (ACAS)–Training. This is a landmark moment in the history of the Indian Air Force as AVM Mohey is the first helicopter pilot in the last three decades to hold the position of ACAS Training.
The last helicopter pilot to head it was AVM Ranjit Malhotra AVSM VM, in 1994. The training directorate deals with policy formulation related to training of personnel. Though this is an important step in moving towards equality in staff appointments within operational fleets—fighters, transports, helicopters and the navigation stream—a lot more needs to be done.
The IAF has been a fighter-dominated service throughout its history, where helicopter and transport pilots have not been given promotions and postings as fighter pilots. This results in a lot of good helicopter and transport pilots quitting service at an early stage.
There are various Directorates in Air Headquarters such as Directorate of Plans, Projects, Personnel Officers, and Intelligence. In these directorates, helicopter and transport pilots do not get the same opportunities as fighter pilots.
The missing helicopter and transport pilots in top ranks
As per data available on Bharat-Rakshak.com, in the last three decades, there has been no ACAS appointments (the highest appointment in the directorate) in the Directorate of Plans from the helicopter, transport and the navigation stream.