ISLAMABAD: A key squadron of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) — its 9th squadron — was declared the twin of an elite squadron of the UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF) — incidentally its squadron number 9 — at a ceremony held at the Mushaf airbase on Saturday, said a PAF press release.
The RAF’s chief of air staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen John Hillier, was the guest of honour at the ceremony which was also attended by the PAF’s chief, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman.
Speaking on the occasion, Air Chief Marshal Aman highlighted the contributions made by the four British commanders-in-chief of the Royal Pakistan Air Force, who laid the foundation of Pakistan’s nascent air force.
The PAF’s chiefs who succeeded the four Britons made earnest efforts to turn the PAF into an even more potent force, he said.
Air Chief Marshal Aman said the 9th squadrons of both the air forces enjoyed rich traditions and their “twinning” would allow them to learn from each other.
Air Chief Marshal Hillier said that the PAF was respected the world over for its professionalism.
He said the “twinning” of the two elite squadrons would allow them to further develop their capabilities, enabling them to build on their already illustrious legacies.
Earlier in the day, the chiefs of the two air forces flew a joint mission. It was the first time that head of a foreign air force participated in a joint mission with a chief of the PAF.
A large number of former squadron commanders and serving PAF officers were present on the occasion.