COAS, General Syed Asim Munir NI (M), visited an operational airbase of PAF on October 19, 2023 to witness the aerial exercise Indus Shield-2023.
The Air Chiefs of Türkiye, Azerbaijan and Hungary were also among the distinguished guests who witnessed PAF's 14-nation mega air exercise.
Upon his arrival, COAS was received by Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), PAF, Air Chief Marshal (ACM), Zaheer Ahmed Baber Sidhu. Later, he was introduced to the foreign dignitaries and Principal Staff Officers of PAF. COAS, along with esteemed foreign dignitaries, received a comprehensive briefing on the training facility of the Air Power Center of Excellence and the extensive scope of the exercise, which is aimed at consolidating modern concepts of aerial warfare, fostering mutual cooperation and enhancing interoperability among the participating air forces.
Speaking at the occasion, CAS lauded the utmost support extended by COAS, in the pursuit of PAF's modernization drive and appreciated the wholehearted participation from the 14 allied countries, which will pave the way for military-to-military cooperation in the backdrop of futuristic aerial warfare.
Highlighting the significance of the exercise, the Air Chief emphasized that Exercise Indus Shield offers a unique opportunity for participating air forces to showcase their unparalleled skills and operational capabilities. He commended the dynamic role played by PAF's Airpower Center of Excellence in successfully orchestrating this mega exercise, ensuring meticulous supervision, conduct, analysis and assessment of aerial warfare missions. CAS highlighted that the Centre's state-of-the-art infrastructure and resources have played a pivotal role in ensuring the successful execution of this significant air exercise. He reiterated, "The successful execution of an aerial mission requires the effective utilization of all components of combat efficiency, including electronic warfare operations, force multipliers and support elements. These crucial aspects are diligently taught at Airpower Center of Excellence, creating a cohesive impact on operational capabilities."
While addressing the exercise participants, COAS accentuated the paramount importance of multinational air exercises in the pursuit of common objectives amidst the ever-evolving dynamics of air warfare. He lauded the professionalism of the exercise participants and extended heartfelt appreciation to the Air Power Centre of Excellence for its state-of-the-art facilities and instrumental role in orchestrating such a large-scale air exercise. The Army Chief acknowledged that the Centre's expertise and dedication have contributed to the development of highly skilled and proficient air warriors, who are ready to meet the challenges of modern warfare. He also admired the dynamic leadership of the Air Chief, whose firm resolve and relentless efforts paved the way for this exercise to be one of the largest aerial exercises of the region. Acknowledging the ever-changing nature of aerial warfare, he reiterated his commitment to support the vision of ACM Zaheer Ahmed Baber Sidhu to incorporate smart inductions, cutting-edge niche technologies in the domains of cyber, artificial intelligence (AI), information technology (IT), space, and specialized innovations.
Exercise Indus Shield stands as a testament to the unwavering commitment of PAF in bolstering regional security and fostering cooperation among allied nations. The exercise serves as a platform for enhancing operational capabilities, promoting mutual understanding and advancing the shared goals of peace and stability in addition to showcasing PAF’s commitment to secure its skies through innovative and disruptive technologies.
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