Air Marshal Bhushan Nilkanth Gokhale, PVSM, AVSM, VM
Air Marshal Bhushan Nilkanth Gokhale, PVSM AVSM VM was commissioned into the Indian Air Force in June 1968 in fighter stream. He has flown over 3500 hours on a variety of combat and trainer aircraft. The Air Marshal has seen active operations during the 1971 Indo-Pak war, on both Eastern and Western fronts. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and Fighter Combat Leader from the prestigious Tactics and Combat Development Establishment.
Air Marshal Gokhale has held a variety of operational command and staff appointments during his career. His operational assignments include command of a frontline fighter squadron in which he took active part in the Siachen Operations and was awarded Vayu Sena Medal. Later he commanded a premier airbase during the Kargil Operations. The staff appointments include tenure as Directing Staff at the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and as Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Operations) during Op Parakram, launched after the attack on Parliament in Dec 2001.
The Air Marshal has had assignments abroad as Flying Instructor in Iraq from 1977 to 1979 and as the Defence Adviser at Indian Embassy in Egypt from 1994 to 1998. He has functioned as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Training Command prior to taking over as the Vice Chief of Air Staff at Air Headquarters. During this tenure he had served as a nominated Member on the Boards of two Defence PSUs, namely Bharat Electronics Ltd and Bharat Dynamics Ltd. Air Marshal BN Gokhale retired as the Vice Chief on 31st Dec 2007.
The Air Marshal is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College and is M Sc, M Phil from Madras University. He is also an alumnus of the Air War College, USA and a Fellow of Aeronautical Society of India. He is a recipient of the Presidential awards, Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and the Vayu Sena Medal.
On retirement, Air Marshal Gokhale had been appointed Consultant to the Principle Scientific Advisor to the Government of India and also to Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO). For his post retirement contribution in the Indigenous development of Strategic systems and those for Low Intensity Conflict, he has also been awarded the prestigious Agni award on 11th May 2013, known as the National Technology Day. He has also worked in the National Security Council and was a visiting Member to the Union Public Service Commission, New Delhi.
In May 2010, the Air Marshal was detailed as the Chairman with full judicial powers, to investigate into the tragic Air India Express accident at Mangalore, in which 158 lives were lost. For 6 years since May 2011 the Air Marshal has functioned as a Member of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Western Region.
Air Marshal Gokhale is the Chairman of Maharashtra Education Society and also of Maharashtriya Mandal Education Society. He has served on the Governing Councils of Deccan College, Pune and the Defence Institute of Advanced Technology, Khadakwasla, Pune. He is presently a member of Symbiosis Planning and Monitoring Board and on the Governing Council of Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies. He is also a visiting Distinguished Professor at the Department of Defence and Strategic Studies of Savitribai Phule Pune University.
He is a Founder Member and Trustee of Pune International Centre. Since Sep 2012 he has also taken over as the Chairman, Civil Aviation Committee at Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA) and is currently director on the Board of MCCIA. With effect from 1st September 2013 he has taken over as the Director of Centre for Advanced Strategic Studies, Pune; a think-tank founded in 1992.
In July 2016 the Air Marshal has been honoured as Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Foundation. He has also been honoured by Pune Municipal Corporation and many other organisations in Pune and other towns of Maharashtra. He is an avid reader and writes articles of interest regularly in various journals and newspapers.