PRITHVI SE ANTARIKSH : GLIMPSES OF WESTERN AIR COMMAND is the first ever comprehensive history, in a coffee table format of Western Air Command (WAC), the premier operational command of the world’s fourth largest Air Force-the Indian Air Force. The command is the largest and senior most command of the IAF and enjoys an asset strength even greater than that of the entire PAF. The WAC is entrusted with the most challenging and onerous task of the IAF-that of defending the skies of India from the majestic Hindu Kush in the north to the desert wastelands of the Thar. Forged in battle, from the struggle to save Kashmir in 1947-48 the air warriors of WAC have had the honour to have served their country in every battle since. In a sense therefore, the history of the WAC is really the history of the IAF’s formative years.

This book for the first time details the magnificent history of the IAF through the eyes of WAC. The battles of J&K, the years of resurgence, the 1962 Chinese invasion, the spectacular wins of September 1965,the comprehensive victory of 1971 and the reinventing of air-war techniques to destroy Mujahideen dug in on mountain tops in Kargil in 1999.

WACs contribution to disaster relief be it the Tsunami of 2004, the ‘White-out’ of the J&K valley in 2005 or earthquakes all over the world are all covered in detail. A chapter on the command’s combat arsenal is also detailed with a special chapter on the employment of unmanned aerial vehicles. History of each station and unit under the command is also of interest. While the command concentrates on operational preparedness, its men have also excelled in sports both within the IAF and internationally. A chapter on the sportsmen of the command details their glory. Finally a glimpse of the role and activities of the Air Force Wives Welfare Association is also covered.

The book is lavishly illustrated with rare pictures conveying the wonder of flight and the world of the air warrior.