The latest in the series of Jetstream exercise, was held in the early part of 1982. The significant aspect of this exercise was a simulated war situation between two different zones, each under its own independent commander. The operations were monitored by the Command Operations Centre but the actual conduct of the exercise was left to the field commanders. This gave useful experience to senior officers in command and control procedures while at the same time imparted greater realism to the action in the air.
The vigorous operational preparedness programme followed by the PAF from 1978, has brought the service to a state of readiness in which it can face any enemy at any time. PAF is a fighter pilot's air force today. Having experienced two major wars, PAF is ever conscious of the numerical superiority of its protagonists in the area. The gap in terms of numbers has been bridged through superior airmanship. In other words shortcoming in numbers has been made up by greater pilot and maintenance performance.
The intensive flying being done in Operational Squadrons, is in consonance with the highest standards of Flight Safety. On assumption of command of PAF, Air Chief Marshal Muhammad Anwar Shamim stressed the need for improved flight safety. He declared, "Through the attainment of higher standards of operational readiness was the PAF's foremost objective, it was equally imperative in peace-time that the price for achieving that aim was kept at a level not beyond the national means." A systematic programme for higher flight safety was introduced in July 1978. The stress was on better training education and continuous indoctrination on the significance of flying correctly and safely. At the Bi-annual Flight Safety Review held on September 25, 1979, the Chief of the Air Staff lauded the marked downward trend in all kinds of aircraft occurrences. Speaking on the occasion Air Chief Marshal Shamim observed, "Operations safety was not an end in itself. It was in fact an index of efficiency and a mean of augmenting the Air Forces combat potential. As systematic analysis of failure trends helped reveal potential risks and enabled the PAF to make timely corrective action, flight safety directly contributed to operational efficiency." The relationship between operational preparedness and better flight safety has been now fully established through the personal interest of the Air Chief. The Pakistan Air Force through constant hard work of its personnel and leadership, stands ready for any kind of emergency or threat to country's security. Inter-Services co-operation has received a great deal of attention and with the establishment of Northern, Southern and Central Air Commands, PAF is in a better position to support operations of Pakistan Army and Pakistan Navy fleet. Reorganization and decentralisation of the Air Defence, was essential to ensure proper planning and allocation of air resources. This was a long felt need and has been meet in the larger interest of national defence.
PAF believes in keeping itself equipped with the best possible technology available to it. In concrete terms it means aircraft, ammunition, air defence weapons, runways and support facilities. The PAF has always stood for quality both in terms of personnel and euipment. Shortages in aircraft have been satisfactorily met with induction of sufficient number of F-6 (Mig-19) and Mirage aircraft. The big breakthrough achieved is the F-16 Fighting Falcon deal with the United States of America. Under the terms of agreement, a total of forty aircraft would be delivered to PAF over a phased period of time. The top command of PAF has taken full cognisance of arms build-up in neighbouring India and the beefing up process of the Indian Air Force. Pakistan has made an appropriate response and the period 1978 onwards is marked with painstaking efforts towards threat evaluation and preparation for meeting the challenge. Decisions taken will have positive far reaching and long term effect on national defence and security. Pakistan will soon have a fully automated and integrated air defence system backed by a chain of sophisticated high level and low level radars. Crotale surface to air missiles have given more credibility and deterrence value. All these measures will ensure the availability of requisite technology for keeping the skies of Pakistan clear from any would be aggressor.
With the establishment of Pakistan Aeronautical Complex at Kamra near Attock, solid foundations are laid for indigenous production and major overhauling/engineering. The two main units at the complex - Mirage Rebuild Factory and F-6 Rebuild Factory, have started giving returns for the investment made. Facilities for assembly leading to production of light aircraft Saab Mushshak have also been created. Latest and most modern machines have been installed and PAC Kamra holds a bright future for aviation technology in Pakistan.
Operational Readiness is the aim and objective of our air force. PAF under the inspiring guidance of battle tested and battle hardened leadership, has emerged much stronger and much more powerful. Its strength lies in the absolute dedication of its highly motivated and disciplined personnel. The secret of the continued PAF success story is pursuit of professionalism and striving for the highest standards in excellence. Amongst the distinguished dignitaries who visited different sectors of Exercise Jetstream 1982, was the President of Pakistan, General M. Zia-ul-Haq. Reproduced below are his observations, made at Sargodha.