Chief of the Air Staff is the commander and the highest-ranking officer of the Indian Air Force. The position is abbreviated as CAS in the Indian Air Force cables & communication, and is usually held by a four-star officer of the rank Air Chief Marshal. The current CAS is Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha who took office on 31 December 2013 following the retirement of Air Chief Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne.
The position was held by an Air Commodore (1919–1923), by an Air Vice-Marshal (1923–1929) and by an Air Marshal (1929–1965). In 1966, the position was upgraded to that of an Air Chief Marshal. The highest rank in the IAF is Marshal of the Air Force, which is conferred by the President of India only in exceptional circumstances. It has only been given once in January 2002 to Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh. This is a five-star rank and is equivalent to a Field Marshal in the Army.