Pune: In a change of guard Lt Gen Manoj Pande, AVSM, VSM, has taken over charge as Chief of Staff at Headquarters Southern Command, Pune. He has taken the charge from Lt Gen RJ Noronha, PVSM, AVSM, SM, ADC, who superannuates on August 31.
Lt Gen Pande has an illustrious career of 35 years. He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy (NDA) and was commissioned into the Bombay Sappers in 1982 and later commanded an Engineers Regiment in J&K. He is a graduate of the Staff College, Camberley (United Kingdom) and has attended the Higher Command and National Defence College courses.
His staff tenure includes exposure at Brigade, Division and Command Headquarters level. As a Lt Col, he was part of UN missions in Ethiopia and Eritrea. He has held the coveted appointment of Additional Director General in Military Operations Directorate at Army Headquarters.
The outgoing Lt Gen RJ Noronha has an illustrious career of 39 years to his credit. He was commissioned into 6 Rajput (Meiktila) in June 1978 and later commanded the same battalion. He held the command of an Assam Rifles Sector in Manipur and Command of a Mountain Division in the Northern Theatre.
He had the privilege of raising the first ever Mountain Strike Corps of the Indian Army. He also held staff and instructional appointments at Infantry School, formation Headquarters and Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence (Army). He assumed charge as Chief of Staff of Southern Command on April 4, 2015.