During the 1971 War, Suri had to take over the Number 7 Hunter Squadron and he flew several sorties during this war as well. He was awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal or AVSM in 1982. He became the Chief of Air Staff on 1st August 1991 and was instrumental in various initiatives – including the induction of women officers in the IAF first as ground duty officers and later as pilots. He has always been a passionate flyer and he is not known to have passed on any opportunity to fly. Air Chief Marshal N.C. Suri, PVSM, AVSM and VM, retired from service on the 31st of July 1993 and was succeeded by S. K. Kaul.