March 10, 2011 (by Asif Shamim) - The Pakistani Air Force held ceremonies at PAF Base Shahbaz on March 10, 2011, which saw one of its oldest squadrons being re-equipped with the newly inducted F-16 block 52 aircraft received from the USA.
Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, Chief of the Air Staff accompanied General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Chief of the Army Staff who was the main guest on the occasion. Other senior civil and military officials were invited including previous squadron commanders.
A re-equipment ceremonial parade was held in which the squadron colours were presented to the squadron commander. Later, a formation of Mirage and F-16 block 52
aircraft presented a fly-past marking the change from the old to the new.
General Kayani said, "As you know, Pakistan
is at war with terrorists, who have disrupted peace and stability in the region and threatened our way of life. Pakistan Armed Forces have been battling these
elements since 2004. These operations have been conducted through unprecedented close cooperation and support of PAF
. The role of PAF has been critical; Pakistan's Army fully appreciates the high level of professionalism displayed by PAF in all counter terrorist operations."
Speaking at the occasion, the Air Chief said, "The first decade of 21 century has seen PAF transforming into a modern and versatile force". He continued by saying. "We have a mission to maintain peace with honour in this volatile region in these uncertain times. It’s PAF’s commitment to the nation that despite all odds, our resolve to defend the country shall remain unshakable".