ISLAMABAD - Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan took over the command of the Pakistan Air Force as the 22nd Chief of the Air Staff, in a graceful change of command ceremony held here at the Air Headquarters on Monday.

During the ceremony, a smartly turned out contingent of the Pakistan Air Force presented the guard of honour to the outgoing Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman.

Later on, he decorated Air Marshal Anwar Khan with the ranks of Air Chief Marshal and handed him over the “command sword”.

To bid farewell to the outgoing Air Chief, a four-ship formation of the JF-17 Thunder aircraft presented a farewell flypast over the venue.

Speaking on the occasion, the outgoing Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman said, “As I relinquish the responsibility of [the] PAF command on completion of my tenure as Chief of the Air Staff, I bow my head in great humility before Allah Almighty, for his boundless blessings, help and guidance throughout my career.”

“No doubt, serving [the] PAF for over four decades has been a privilege, honour and a matter of immense satisfaction for me. Certainly, I cannot think of a greater honour than leading one of the best air forces of the world,” Aman added.

The outgoing Air Chief further said, “I am glad to leave behind a well-developed mature organisation, equipped with sophisticated hardware in the hands of most competent and highly-skilled professionals, ever ready to defend the aerial frontiers of Pakistan as per the aspirations of the nation.

He recalled both pleasant and testing times in [the] Pakistan Air Force, vivid among these are the events of the last three years, in which [the] PAF faced unprecedented challenges and brought peace to the country after milestone achievements in war against violent non-State actors and extremists.

Aman pointed out that establishment of the PAF’s Airpower Centre of Excellence was another major step forward in augmenting the PAF’s operational preparedness and promoting cordial relations with friendly countries.

The PAF has also embarked upon a toilsome but rewarding effort in shape of Aviation City and a well-crafted Aerospace and Aviation Campus of Air University to prove the much-needed industry-academia linkage for economic prosperity of the country through indigenisation and self-reliance.

Air Chief Marshal Aman also added, “I urge you to strive for excellence in your assignments, put in your best for the country and [the] PAF, work with sincerity of purpose and complete commitment to assigned tasks.”

“Being combatants of this elite organisation, always uphold the pledge to live for, fight for and die for the country,” he emphasised.

Aman congratulated Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan on his appointment as Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force, and wished him success in his new assignment.

“My successor is a sound professional with extraordinary leadership qualities and above all he is an excellent human being,” he added.

Aman was confident that during his tenure of command, the Pakistan Air Force would scale new heights of excellence, Insha Allah.