‘Air power has acquired even more importance’

PAF BASE MUSHAF: Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif said on Wednesday that air power has become more important in the modern era for the aerial security of the country. 
Addressing an impressive re-equipment ceremony of No 19 Multi-Role Squadron of the Pakistan Air Force, at PAF Base Mushaf on Wednesday, General Raheel said, “PAF is striving for the professional excellence for being second to none, as quoted by Father of the Nation, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.” The army chief further said, “PAF has always maintained highest state of preparedness and professional excellence. PAF has repeatedly proven equal to the task even in the most difficult times and has measured up to the expectations of the nation in safeguarding the sacred soil and aerial frontiers of Pakistan”. 
General Raheel noted that the Pakistan Air Force is equipped with modern weaponry system and training capabilities. He congratulated the PAF airmen, particularly the gallant “Sherdils” of No 19 Squadron for attaining another milestone in the history of PAF. The army chief assured continued collaboration between the Pakistan Army and the air force. He said that the addition of F16s in the PAF has further enhanced aerial defence of the country. General Raheel Sharif also lauded the role played by Jordan in this regard and extended gratitude for help and assistance by the Jordanian government. “This collaboration will further strengthen bilateral ties between the two brethren countries,” he said.
It is worth mentioning here that Pakistan has purchased a squadron of F16 aircraft at a very nominal price from Jordan. In his welcoming address, Air Chief Marshal, Chief of the Air Staff Tahir Rafique Butt reiterated that aerial defenders are fully vigilant to the needs of the country’s air defence and are capable of countering any internal or external threats. He said the PAF would step forward to protect the territorial sovereignty of Pakistan anywhere and at any cost. The air chief further said, “It is PAF’s commitment to the nation that despite all odds, our resolve shall remain unshakable and along with our sister services we shall, Insha Allah, defend the territorial integrity of Pakistan against any aggression, at any cost. Being the first line of physical defence, Pakistan Air Force needs to continuously build up its capability for an even more assured aerial defence”. 
A simple but elegant squadron colour handing over ceremony was held when airmen of No 19 Squadron led by its Officer Commanding, Wing Commander Naeem presented general salute to the chief guest. After inspecting the smartly-turned-out contingent General Raheel Sharif handed over the squadron colour from one pilot of No 19 OCU to the other young pilot of the No 19 MR Squadron. The handing of squadron colour marked a new era of No 19 Squadron from an Operational Conversion Unit to a Multi Role Squadron.

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