Pakistan’s new prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi today became the country’s first premier to fly in a US-made F-16 fighter aircraft, media report said. Abbasi, during a visit to the newly-established Airpower Center of Excellence (ACE) at an operational air base of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), flew in the single-engine supersonic multirole fighter aircraft. The 58-year-old became the first-ever prime minister of Pakistan to participate in an air force sortie, Geo News reported.
The US-made F-16 fighter aircraft belonged to the No 9 Squadron of the PAF. The facility at the Mushaf Air base in Punjab’s Sargodha city is a premier institution which has been equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure.
Besides training PAF personnel, the ACE would also train the combat crew of friendly air forces by conducting multinational, training exercises, the report said.
Abbasi was briefed by Air Chief Sohail Aman on the ongoing exercise ‘Saffron Bandit’ and was informed that the first-ever multinational exercise will be held in October and would have participation from personnel from 19 air forces.
‘Saffron Bandit’ is a combat exercise by PAF involving fighter jets and ground troops with elements from the Army Aviation and Army Air Defence. It is held once in three years.