PAF Base Mushaf

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PAF Base Mushaf
IATA: SGIICAO: OPSR
Summary
Airport type Military
Operator Pakistan Air Force
Location Sargodha
Occupants

Pakistan Air Force

Elevation AMSL 614 ft / 187 m
Coordinates 32°02′55″N 72°39′55″E / 32.04861°N 72.66528°E / 32.04861; 72.66528Coordinates: 32°02′55″N 72°39′55″E / 32.04861°N 72.66528°E / 32.04861; 72.66528
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
06/24 7,956 2,424 Asphalt
14/32 10,253 3,124 Asphalt

PAF Base Mushaf (formerly PAF Base Sargodha) (IATA: SGIICAO: OPSR) is a Pakistan Air Force airbase located at Sargodha in the Punjab province of Pakistan. It is the headquarters of the PAF Central Air Command.

It was known as PAF Base Sargodha until 2003, when it was renamed in honour of former Base Commander and Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mushaf Ali Mir,[1] whose aeroplane crashed on a routine flight near Kohat the same year. It has also been nicknamed the PAF's Top Gun base due to the PAF's elite Combat Commanders School being based there.

History[edit]

PAF Base Sargodha was originally an abandoned WW2 airfield until July 1951, when a PAF Care and Maintenance Party arrived at the base. Construction of infrastructure, supervised by Wing Commander R. D. Rollo, was completed by 16 November 1959. Originally named PAF Station Sargodha, the first base commander was Group Captain Salahuddin who took over in November 1959 and fighter squadrons began transferring to the base. Nos. 5, 11 and 16 Squadrons of No.33 Wing were present with their F-86F Sabre fighters by April 1960.[citation needed]

PAF Base Sargodha has initially hosted almost all new types of combat aircraft introduced by the PAF, including the F-86, F-104, F-6, Mirage and F-16.

Combat Commanders School[edit]

In 1976 the Combat Commanders School (CCS) was formed, replacing the PAF's Fighter Leaders' School.[citation needed] It has four aims:[2]

  1. Research and development in the field of tactics.
  2. Application of flying tactics.
  3. Utilisation of weapon systems.
  4. Standardisation and evaluation of various units.

Pilots are normally selected to undergo training at the CCS after around 9 to 12 years of service with the PAF. Once selected by the Air Headquarters they undergo three courses: the 4-5 month Combat Commanders Course, the 3 month Weapons Course and the 4-5 week Fighter Integration Course. These courses are reputed to be very tough and some pilots fail them. The successful graduates can go on to attain the rank of Wing Commander and command a squadron.[2]

Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT) at the CCS is renowned "throughout the world" for giving complete freedom and responsibility to participating pilots for forming and executing their mission plans. Combat missions are regularly flown at tree-top height and pilots are also responsible for their own post-flight learning. Foreign Chiefs of Air Staff visiting the base have been "most impressed" and "showed surprise at the freedom allotted to the student DACT pilots." [2]

CCS has two squadrons under its command, the Skybolts currently flying the Dassault Mirage III/5 and the Dashings currently flying the Chengdu F-7P.[2]

CCS staff pay annual visits to all PAF fighter squadrons to evaluate and enhance combat capabilities. In June 1990 the Squadron Combat Upgradation Programme (SCUP) was initiated and four month-long cycles were conducted by October 1990, each involving two fighter squadrons, F-16 pilots and ground controllers. SCUP was replaced by the regular Exercise Saffron Bandit in 1992, which is a more demanding and complicated near-realistic environment for participating pilots. Exercise Saffron Bandit is still supervised and its syllabus constantly improved by the CCS.[3]

Incidents[edit]

On 1 November 2007 a suicide bomber struck the 50-seat bus carrying PAF officers to nearby Kirana Ammunition Depot, killing 11 people (including 7 officers) and injuring 28. The bombing took place on Faisalabad Road, where a motorcycle loaded with explosives rammed the bus and triggered the blast. All the officers were new recruits posted to PAFB Mushaf for training.[4] This was the last major attack before the 2007 state of emergency was imposed on the country.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Active base PAF Official Website. Retrieved 8 August 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d "Pakistan’s ‘Top Gun’ Base". Air Forces Monthly. April 1992. 
  3. ^ "Combat Commanders School". Retrieved 13 June 2011. 
  4. ^ "Seven PAF officers among 11 dead in suicide attack". Retrieved 2008-01-19.