Mumbai: Lt Gen Ajai Kumar Singh has taken over as the new chief of the Indian Army’s Southern Command, headquartered in Pune, officials said on Tuesday.
An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Pune and the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, he took over from the outgoing Commander J. S. Nain, who relinquished charge on Monday.
Commissioned into the army’s 7/11 Gorkha Rifles in Dec. 1984, Lt Gen Singh has vast operational experience of all types of terrain, whether counter-insurgency areas, high altitude and icy glaciated regions like Siachen or the hot deserts.
He commanded the 1/11 Gorkha Rifles on the Line of Control in Jammu & Kashmir, an elite brigade in the Wwstern theatre, a frontline counter-insurgency force in the Kashmir Valley, and the Trishakti Corps in the northeast.
He has also held key instructional and staff appointments like Instructor at the Commando Wing, Belgaum, Additional Director General of Military Operations and Director General Operational Logistic & Strategic Movement at the Integrated Headquarters of the Ministry of Defence, New Delhi.
He was also a diplomat-soldier with a stint as Officer-in-Charge, PPO Dharan at the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu.
On taking over, he paid homage to the fallen soldiers by laying a wreath at the Southern Command War Memorial in Pune.
Lt Gen Nain – who was appointed in February 2021, lauded all the ranks of the command for their unflinching commitment, dedication and devotion in accomplishing assigned tasks in extremely challenging operational environments.