Manikantan, A Kottayam Native, Slated To Become Air Marshal
- Top IAF officials told TNIE that Mani has demonstrated his skill as a helicopter pilot by flying the most of the force's helicopter models for more than 5,400 hours.
B Manikantan, a native of Kottayam, has received approval from the Center to take the position of Air Marshal, which is one rank below Chief of Air Force. The third Malayali to hold the rank of Air Marshal, or three-star air officer, in the Indian Air Force is Mani, who is affectionately referred to as “Mani” by his friends (IAF).
Manikantan, who graduated from the Sainik School Kazhakoottam (SSKZM) in 1983 and currently holds the second-highest active position in the IAF, is the Assistant Chief of the Integrated Defense Staff Int-C (Military Cooperation), Headquarters, New Delhi. He holds the rank of Air Vice Marshal.
Senior Air Staff Officer Western Air Command R Radhish and Senior Air Staff Officer Training Command Saju Balakrishnan are the other two Malayalis to attain the rank of Air Marshal. Mani is a resident of Thiruvarppu in Kottayam and is the son of Balakrishna Pillai and P K Lakshmi Kutty Amma.
Top IAF officials told TNIE that Mani has demonstrated his skill as a helicopter pilot by flying the most of the force’s helicopter models for more than 5,400 hours. Mani has spent his whole 36-year career with the IAF flying, and throughout that time he has taken part in numerous air operations in Sri Lanka and the Siachen Glacier.
His wife, Dr. Nirmala, a former physician from the Armed Forces Medical College, as well as son Astrit and daughter Abhisshree, are thrilled with his accomplishment.