Pakistanis Complete Air Guard Training

Eight Pakistani Air Force pilots on Tuesday graduated from seven months of flight training with the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Fighter Wing in Tucson Ariz. They learned how to fly F-16C/D fighters in preparation for the delivery in late June of the first of the 18 new F-16 Block 52 aircraft that Pakistan is acquiring. These pilots, who will now serve as instructors back in Pakistan, had prior experience only in Pakistan’s less-capable F-16A/B models. “Our air force is gaining capabilities that it has needed for the last decade, capabilities that are critical to ongoing operations in Pakistan’s war on terror,” said Pakistani Air Force Wing Commander Ghazanfar Latif. The Block 52s, all of which are expected to be delivered in 2010s, will be capable of night operations and give the Pakistanis enhanced capabilities to deliver precision munitions. (Tucson report by Maj. Gabe Johnson)