Air Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt took over as the new Chief of Air Staff of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) at a ceremony held here in Islamabad at the Air Headquarters on Monday.

Rao Qamar Suleman, the outgoing Air Chief Marshal formally handed over the PAF's Sword of Command to Air Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt.

Both the outgoing and incoming air chiefs were presented separate guards of honour to formally mark the change of command.

Born in 1955, Air Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt received his early education at PAF Public School, Sargodha. He joined Pakistan Air Force and graduated from PAF Academy, Risalpur in March, 1977.

After doing his Fighter and Operational Conversion Courses, he has flown various types of fighters and training aircraft on PAF Inventory.

Air Chief Marshal is a qualified Flying Instructor and also a Combat Commander on Fighters. He has commanded an elite Fighter Squadron, a Fighter Flying Wing and two PAF Bases.

In staff jobs at Air Headquarters, the Air Chief Marshal has served as Deputy Director Plans, Director Flight Safety, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (P-O) in Personnel Branch and Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Training).

In senior staff assignments, Tahir Rafique Butt has the distinction of having served as Director General National Accountability Bureau (KPK) Commandant National Security College, NDU, Air Officer Commanding Southern Air Command and Deputy Chief of the Air Staff (Personnel).

Before taking over as air chief, he was serving as Vice Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force.

Tahir Rafique Butt is a graduate of Staff College, Turkey and National Defence University, Islamabad from where he did his M.Sc in Defence and Strategic Studies.

He is married and blessed with three children. In recognition of his meritorious and exceptionally dedicated services, he has been decorated with the Awards of Hilal-i-Imtiaz (Military), Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Military) and Tamgha-i-Basalat.