Pakistan Activates F-16 Squadron

The Pakistan air force last week formally activated its squadron of 18 new-build F-16 Block 52 aircraft purchased from the United States. Maj. Gen. Richard Shook, individual mobilization augmentee to Air Forces Central Commander Lt. Gen. Mike Hostage, attended the March 10 re-equipping ceremony at Pakistan Air Force Base Shahbaz near Jacobabad. The F-16s are assigned to the re-designated Squadron 5, which formerly flew Mirage fighters. Pakistan acquired the F-16s under a $1.4 billion foreign military sale. Even though the Pakistanis already operate older model F-16s, the new airplanes give them day-night, all-weather, precision attack capabilities to counter extremists within their nation’s borders. The Air National Guard trained the Pakistani instructor pilots in Tucson, Ariz. (Shahbaz photo caption by Lt. Col. Michael Shavers) (See also Express Tribune report)