The outgoing air chief handed over the command sword to Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmad Baber
Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmad Baber took over the command of Pakistan Air Force as the 23rd Chief of the Air Staff, in a graceful change of Command ceremony held at Air Headquarters, Islamabad on March 19.
The outgoing Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan decorated Air Marshal Zaheer Ahmad Baber Sidhu 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 JF-17 Thunder aircraft presented a farewell flypast and a smartly turned-out contingent of Pakistan Air Force presented the guard of honour to Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan.
In his farewell address the outgoing Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan said he could not think of a “greater honour than leading one of the finest air forces of the world.”
Recalling the PAF’s achievement in Operation Swift Retort, he said, “Alhamd-u-Lillah! PAF once again lived up to the Nation’s expectations and proved to be the Guardians of our free Blue Skies through timely a and well-calibrated response, which kept the enemy at bay.” He further said that PAF had made great strides on its journey to excellence and continued transformation for a Next Generation Air Force – 2047.
Congratulating the new Air Chief he said, “My successor is a sound professional with extraordinary leadership qualities and above all he is an excellent human being. I am confident that during his tenure of command, Pakistan Air Force shall scale to new heights of excellence, InshaAllah!”
PAF’s new air chief profile
The new air chief hails from Sadh village in Punjab’s Gujrat district and was serving as Deputy Chief of Air Staff (Administration) at the Air Headquarters in Islamabad until his appointment as new CAS. The new air chief also served as an additional secretary in the ministry of defence.
Babar joined GD (Pilot) branch of the PAF in 1986 as a fighter pilot. He has also served in fighter squadrons, operational airbases and regional commands. He attended Combat Commanders School, Air War College and Royal College of Defense Studies in the United Kingdom for higher studies.
Babar has also served as Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Operations Research and Development), Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Training Officers) and Director General of Projects at Air Headquarters Islamabad.
He has been awarded Sitara-e-Imtiaz (military) and Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (military) in recognition of his services.