Pakistan Air Force pilots and aircrew got together with their US Air Force counterparts in early March at PAF Chaklala for an information exchange on aerial refueling. “With the planned arrival of more F-16s to Pakistan later this year, developing PAF air refueling expertise is critical to increasing their airborne endurance and enhancing their ability to counter the violent extremist threat in their country,” said Navy Vice Adm. Michael LeFever, senior US defense representative to Pakistan. Participating from the US side were members of the 22nd Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron operating out of the Transit Center at Manas, Kyrgyzstan, who brought one of their KC-135s. The exchange included inviting the Pakistani hosts aboard the KC-135 to familiarize them with USAF air refueling equipment and procedures. (Islamabad release from US Embassy)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.