Tahir Rafique Butt
|Tahir Rafique Butt|
|Service/branch||Pakistan Air Force|
|Years of service||1977-|
|Rank||Air Chief Marshal|
|Unit||Sq. No 1 Rehbar|
|Commands held||Chief of Air Staff
Director of the NAB (Kpk Branch)
Southern Air Command
ACAS of PAF Personnel
PAF Base Lower Topa
|Battles/wars||2001 India-Pakistan standoff
2008 Indo-Pakistan standoff
War in North-West Pakistan
Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt (Urdu:طاهر رفيق بٹ;b. 1955) Tbt, NI(M) HI(M) MSc, is a four-star rank air chief marshal and the current Chief of Air Staff of the Pakistan Air Force, appointed in place of ACM Rao Qamar Suleman on 7 March 2012 by the President.
He formally assumed the charge on 19 March 2012. Before being appointed chief he was serving as Vice Chief of Air Staff since 5 October 2010. His other appointments include Deputy Chief of Air Staff at Air Headquarters and commanding an operational base.
Tahir Rafique Butt was born in 1955 to a Punjabi family, in Sargodha, Punjab, Pakistan. He received his early education from the PAF Public School– a boarding school managed by the Air Force. After graduating from PAF Public School in 1973, he enrolled in Punjab University and attained BSc in Science in 1975. The same year, Butt's nomination was accepted at the Pakistan Air Force Academy after interviewed by the Inter-Services Selection Board.
During his mid-officer career, Rafique studied at the National University of Modern Languages before transferring to Quaid-e-Azam University in 1993–94. From 1994–95, he spent a semester at the Staff College in Turkey. From 2000 till 2001, Rafique continued to proceed his studies to National Defense University (NDU) where gained his MSc in Defence and Strategic studies from the National Defense University.
Career in Air Force
Butt graduated from the Air Force Academy on 6 March 1977 as a General Duty Pilot (GDP). He secured his commissioned as P/Off. and served in Sq. No 1 Rehbar on course of a Fighter Conversion Unit (FCU).
From 1977-79, he served on various flight assignments and joined the Air Force Academy to instruct flying courses on Fixed-wing aircraft. Sq. Ldr, he served on the combat units and flew with the No. 9 Griffins and No. 20 Eagles from 1983–84. Butt also served as a military adviser to the Zimbabwean Air Force which he served from 1984 until 1986. Upon returning to Pakistan, Butt resumed the combat duty with the No. 18 War Hawks. In 1988, he was selected to join the Combat Commanders' School and graduated as a combat fighter in special operations. Eventually promoted as Wg Cdr, he commanded the No. 15 Cobras in 1990; during his service, he flew Mirage-III, F-7P, F-6S, T-37, SF-260, and MFI-17.
His staff assignment included the Deputy Director of Special Operations and Development at the AHQ from 1996–99. Previously, he served as Additional Director on Special Operations at the Chaklala AFB in 1990. From 2000–01, Rafique served as base commander of the PAF Base Lower Topa. Upon promoting to Air Cdre in 2001, Rafique served as ACAS of the Personnel; he also served as base commander of M.M. Alam AFB in Mianwali in 2002.
In 2005, his grade was promoted to two star rank and elevated as AVM in the Air Force. From 2005 until 2007, he served in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and directed the KpK branch. In 2009, he was promted Air Marshal and became AOC of Southern Air Command which is headquartered in Karachi.
Chief of Air Staff
At the time of retirement of ACM Rao Qamar Suleman, Rafique was a senior most air marshal; his appointment came directly based on seniority. After much speculation, his four-star appointment was confirmed in the media. Earlier reports indicated that five air marshals had been in the race to become the next air chief. However, upholding the principle of seniority, the government chose Butt, similar to when the government appointed the new chief of naval staff, last year. On 7 March 2012, Butt's grade was promoted to four-star rank and elevated as the ACM; he assumed the charge of chief of air staff on 19 March 2012.
Awards and decorations
|Non-operational Military Awards|
|Nishan-e-Imtiaz (Order of Excellence Military)|
|Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Crescent of Excellence)|
|Sitara-e-Imtiaz (Star of Excellence)|
|Tamgha-e-Basalat (Medal of Good Conduct)|
|Dushdi Mala (Thailand)|
|Legion of Merit (Turkey)|
- "Air Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt appointed as new Air Chief". The News Tribe. 7 March 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
- "Tahir Rafique Butt appointed Air Chief". The News. 7 March 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
- "Change of command: Air Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt to be new air chief". The Express Tribune. 29 February 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
- rom Web Edition (12 March 2012). "Tahir Rafique takes over as PAF chief". News International. News International, 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
- Staff writer. "Illustrious Students". PAF Public School. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
- staff desk (9 March 2012). "President Zardari appoints Butt as new PAF air chief". CNBC Pakistan. CNBC Pakistan. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
- News desk (12 March 2012). "Tahir Rafique takes over as new PAF Chief". GEO News. GEO News. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
- PAF Falcon profile. "PAF Falcon profile". PAF Falcon profile. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
- "PM recommends Tahir Rafiq Butt as new air chief". Pakistan Today. 29 February 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
- Yousaf, Kamran (February 29, 2012). "Government settles on new PAF Chief". Express Tribune, February 29, 2012. Express Tribune. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
- By Our Correspondent (February 29, 2012). "Change of Command". Express News. Express News. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
- Haider, Salman (March 19, 2012). "Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt takes over as new Chief of the Air Staff, PAF - March 19, 2012". Salman Haider at Youtube. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
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Cite error: The named reference
- "Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt NI (M), T Bt". ISPR. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
- PAF's Chiefs of the Air Staff
- Video: Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt takes over as new Chief of the Air Staff, PAF - March 19, 2012
Rao Qamar Suleman
|Chief of Air Staff
2012 – present