ISLAMABAD: It was yet another historic day in the remarkable history of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) when its Elite Squadron (9 squadron) was declared the twin of renowned Illustrious Squadron (9 squadron) of Royal Air Force (RAF) of United Kingdom (UK) at a grand ceremony held at Masahf base, on Saturday.
Chief of the Air Staff, Royal Air Force Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen John Hillier was guest of honor in the ceremony.Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman was also present on the occasion, PAF press release here stated.
Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman on the occasion highlighted the contributions of four British Commander-in-Chiefs of Royal Pakistan Air Force, who laid the foundation of a nascent Air Force.
He said keeping the traditions of these inspiring leaders in high esteem, the succeeding commanders of PAF made earnest efforts to transform it into a potent air arm of Pakistan.
He said that No 9 squadrons of both the Air Forces have a rich legacy to be frontline squadrons eversince their inceptions in the respective forces. Reiterating he said that the twinning of these squadrons would help both the air forces in learning from each other and strengthening bilateral cordial relations.
While addressing, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen John Hillier, said that PAF is respected world over due to its sound
professionalism and it has brought many laurels to the country. He said that the twinning of these renowned squadrons would further develop their capabilities and lay a foundation to build on the legacy of the predecessors.
Earlier in the day, the Chief of Royal Air Force witnessed the fly past of four ship formation of F-16 aircraft. It was followed by a thrilling solo aerobatic display of F-16 aircraft.
In line to mark this momentous occasion, both the Air Chiefs also flew a mission in separate aircraft of No 9 multirole squadron. It was the first time that a foreign Air Chief participated in a joint mission with the Chief of PAF.
A large number of former squadron commanders, and high- ranking PAF Officers also attended the ceremony.
The No 9 Bomber Squadron of Royal Air Force was raised in 1914 and it has actively participated in many wars ever since.
Presently, stationed at RAF Marham, Pathfinders (call sign) are currently operating Tornado aircraft.
The No 9 Multirole squadron of PAF was raised in 1943 at Risalpur, and it made its operational debut in Burma during World War II under the command of legendary Air Marshal Asghar Khan (then Squadron Leader). The squadron has a glorious history and has been in the front-line of Indo Pakistan wars and Afghan conflict.
Commonly known as Griffins, the squadron is currently flying F-16 Fighting Falcon. —APP