Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh arrived in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday for a week-long visit to Kerala.

The sole five-star officer of the Air Force was received at the airport here by Air Marshal R.K. Jolly, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Air Command.

A press note here said Marshal Singh would be given a briefing on the operational preparedness of the Southern Air Command in the context of the growing security challenges in the southern peninsula and the Indian Ocean region.

He would interact with officers and air warriors of the Command during his stay. He is scheduled to visit Alappuzha and other places.

The press note said Marshal Singh was commissioned into the Royal Indian Air Force in 1938 and he took part in various operations during the Second World War. He commanded the Number 2 Squadron in operations against the Japanese during the Arakan Campaign and the Imphal Campaign and later assisted the advance of the Allied forces to Rangoon. “For his role in successfully leading the squadron in combat, Arjan Singh received the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1944,” the press note said.

He was the Chief of the Air Staff of the Indian Air Force in 1965 when it faced its first combat; he was then 44 years old. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan.

Marshal Singh has flown over 60 types of aircraft, including the pre-World War 1 biplanes. He was conferred the rank of Marshal in January 2002, the press note added.