Air chief witnesses last phase of ‘Shaheen-III’ exercises

OPERATIONAL AIR BASE:  Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt visited an Operational Air Base of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) on Saturday to witness the last phase of joint international air exercises titled Shaheen-III.The visiting contingent of Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) consisted of combat pilots, air defence controllers and technical ground crew.After witnessing the exercises, Air Chief Marshal Butt expressed satisfaction at the professional acumen of the participating pilots and technicians.Addressing the participants, he said: “The exercises between the two professional air forces would not only cement the already existing friendly bonds but would also give an opportunity to learn from each other’s combat experience. Shaheen-III conducted in near real scenario will provide an opportunity to combat crew of both air forces to acquaint themselves with the latest employment concepts and practices.”The PLAAF’s J-10 and J-7 combat aircraft whereas PAF’s JF-17 Thunder, Mirage and F7 PG combat aircraft participated in the multi-dimensional exercises.The PAF emphasises combat training of its air and ground crew and regularly undertakes air exercises with allied air forces.Shaheen-III was the third in the series of joint air exercises with PLAAF conducted annually on alternate basis in both countries. Shaheen-II was conducted in China in 2013.The PAF has been regularly participating in a number of international air exercises with some of the best air forces of the world, including United States Air Force, Italian Air Force, Turkish Air Force, Royal Jordanian Air Force, Royal Saudi Air Force and air forces of other allied countries.

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