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No 5 Squadron of PAF Re-Equipps with New F-16 C/D Block 52+ Aircraft, Islamabad



ISLAMABAD 10 March, 2011:            Re-equipment Ceremony of No 5 Squadron of Pakistan Air Force was held at PAF Base, Shahbaz (Jacobabad) on Thursday. No 5 Squadron, one of the oldest squadrons of the PAF, previously equipped with Mirage aircraft has now been re-equipped with newly inducted state-of-the-art F-16 C/D Block 52+ aircraft. General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Chief of the Army Staff, Pakistan Army was the Chief Guest on the occasion. Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force also attended the ceremony along with other senior civil and military officials. A re-equipment ceremony parade was also held on the occasion, in which the squadron color was presented to the squadron commander. Later, a formation of Mirage and F-16 Block 52 aircraft presented a fly-past. Ex squadron commanders of this elite squadron were also present at the occasion; notable among them was Air Chief Marshal (Retd) Hakimullah.

Chief of the Army Staff while addressing at the occasion 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; Pak 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. Our focus has shifted from the traditional threat based development to development based on capabilities enhancement. Our effort has been to cover entire spectrum of Air Warfare to counter all internal as well as external challenges. Let me take this opportunity to reaffirm and reiterate that PAF will always provide effective support to our land forces in their operations against all internal as well as external enemies of Pakistan. With the induction of Block 52 F-16s, AEW, Aerial re-fuellers and a multi layered Air Defence system; PAF now has the capability to respond to various threats being faced by nation, with efficiency and safety. 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. Whenever required, we will employ our assets, including these F-16s, to defend our nation and its freedom, against any aggressor, be it external or internal."

Pakistan Air Force received 18 state-of-the-art F-16 C/D Block 52+ aircraft in different batches from USA and the delivery was completed in December 2010.