WASHINGTON:Pakistan Air Force F-16C/D aircraft traveled more than 7,700 miles to participate in Red Flag 16-4 held in Nevada from Aug. 15-26, a US air force news service reported.
Maj. Gen. Rick B. Mattson, the chief of the Office of the Defense Representative, Pakistan, had high words of praise for PAF, saying that “When you have a force that is that professional and is dedicated to training and working together as a coalition, you are going to get better”.
The training allowed the Pakistan and U.S. air forces to continue building and strengthening their relationship. It also provided them the chance to improve integration, further training and enhance the readiness of air operations.
Pakistan brought a unique set of skills to the exercise, from their willingness to collaborate to their motivation to get the most out of the training scenarios, the report said.
“For me, it is absolutely phenomenal to have a partner who is willing to do that and looks at this as truly an opportunity to not only get better as a force within the Pakistan Air Force but also how to better integrate with everyone else,” Gen. Mattson said.
“That has been a major focus for the team that has been here and I have already heard about ways they are able to integrate better through technology and we will try to work on that part.”
Air Vice Marshal Syed Noman Ali, the deputy chief of air staff, PAF said that the F-16 has been the lynchpin in accomplishing our mutual desired objectives.
“At the strategic level it has been extremely valuable. On the capability enhancement and objective achievement on the ground, this aircraft has been the most useful.”
Not only have the Pakistan pilots been impressive but also their maintenance team as well, the report said.
“I have a lot of experience in the Middle East and this is a very unique capability that they have,” Mattson said. “When you go through the maintenance facility, bays, it’s all Pakistan enlisted working on these aircrafts.”
According to the report, integration has been a major focus for Red Flag 16-4 and the Pakistan Air Force has played a key role in helping achieve that goal.
The exercise has helped both air forces learn each other’s strengths and utilizing those strengths in real-world situations.
“Whenever we’ve been together with the U.S. in terms of an exercise or other engagements it has been amazing, productive and mutually rewarding experience on both sides,” Ali said.
“Whether its actual strategies that have been going on in the region or it has been exercises that train for certain events, I would expect this type of relationship to grow stronger in the future.” -APP