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Pakistan Air Force re-equipped with F-16

F-16 Fighting FalconLahore: Pakistan Air Force has re-equipped her fourth Squadron with state-of-the art aircraft F-16 today. General Raheel Sharif, Chief of the Army Staff was the chief guest of the ceremony.

Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Chief of the Air Staff Pakistan Air Force was also present with him. The aircraft have been purchased at a minimal price from Royal Jordanian Air Force after series of negotiations held between concerned Ministries and the concerted efforts of Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Chief of the Air Staff Pakistan Air Force.

A smartly turned out contingent of No 19 Squadron presented the general salute to the chief guest followed by the parade.  The Chief Guest transferred the Squadron flag to new commander and as per tradition of Pakistan Air Force, newly inducted F-16s of No 19 Squadron presented a fly past followed by a stunning aerial display.

No 19 Squadron “Sherdils” was raised in 1958 at PAF Base Mauripur with 12 American origin F-86F Sabre Aircraft. In October, 1964 the squadron moved to Peshawar. The Sqn valiantly participated in 965 war, in which it had flown 730 hours in 571 sorties without losing a single aircraft or a pilot.

During 1965 war, No 19 Squadron, apart from other victories, has the unrivalled distinction of carrying out the first successful close air support mission at Wagha, and famous air strike at Pathankot airfield.

It also has the honour of having six Sitara-e-Jurat.  In 1990, Sqn was equipped with Pakistan’s newly acquired Chinese F-7P interceptor aircraft and was converted into an Operational Conversion Unit in July 1991.

Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt has also commanded the Squadron with the onerous responsibility of setting up the new conversion unit. The unit has strengthened the defence of motherland by graduating 652 fighter pilots till date.

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