PAF Base Samungli
|PAF Base Samungli|
|Owner||Pakistan Armed Forces|
|Operator||Pakistan Air Force|
PAF Base Samungli is a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) airbase located near Quetta, in the Balochistan province of Pakistan. Originally used as a forward operating location during exercises and wartime, it was converted into a main operating base during the 1970s. Samungli currently houses two PAF squadrons flying the Chengdu F-7PG combat aircraft.
During the years of the Royal Pakistan Air Force (RPAF), the base was known as RPAF Station Samungli. The base was commanded by Major Sikandar Khan of the Pakistan Army from 14 May to 12 July 1954. Squadron Leader K. M. Akbar of the RPAF took over as base commander and commanded a newly established GC Wing.
In June 1957 an annual training camp, Shaheen Air Training Corps was inaugurated, commanded by Squadron Leader J. Z. Mikulski who was assisted by Flying Officer A. Hanif and Sergeants Sabir, Zahoor and Hussain. That month saw the SATC wings from Dacca, Sargodha, Drigh Road and Chaklala participating in the training camp. Wings from Lahore and Peshawar followed them in July.
In October 1970 the Care and Maintenance (C&M) Party Samungli was redesignated as PAF Base Samungli and it was proposed that two squadrons would be based there by 1974.
From 1970 to 1978 the base saw fighter squadrons from Masroor, Sargodha and Peshawar deploying during summertime for several weeks. College students were invited to annual summer camps. Firepower and close air support demonstrations were held each summer for Quetta Staff College students by various PAF squadrons, the biggest in September 1976 by No. 5, 7, 11, 15 and 18 Squadrons. The tradition continues today although mostly by the squadrons now based at Samungli.
PAF Base Samungli was converted from a satellite base to a main operating base on 31 March 1978, after which the No. 23 Squadron was permanently deployed there. Later the No. 17 Squadron was also based at Samungli and the two squadrons were assigned to the No. 31 Wing established in May 1983. The setting up of air defence units began in 1981 after HQ No. 4 Sector and its component units was moved nearby due to the Soviet-Afghan war.
Originally the officers' mess was in a small hut-type building. The SNCO's mess and airmen's mess were in a World War II era barracks. These were replaced by the end of 1981 when new messes, domestic accommodation and a 20-bed hospital were built.
On 26 May 1981 an Afghan Air Force Mil Mi-8 helicopter was hijacked from Qandahar and landed at Samungli. On 15 May 1982 the base held a colour presentation ceremony for the No. 23 Squadron after the unit was officially reassigned an air superiority role.
The base has been used by the United States for military logistical operations in support of the 2001 war in Afghanistan. According to an anonymous source, the Pentagon is able to make use of the base "as and when".
- HISTORY OF PAF - Government of Pakistan
- "CIA drones quit one Pakistan site – but US keeps access to other airbases". The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Retrieved 24 March 2013.