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  EVENTS  
   
PROPEL TO THE JET AGE
 
In June 1951 the PAF entered the jet age with the "Supermarine Attacker" fighter equipping the first jet squadron of the growing air force. Until the mid-1950s, the mainstay of the PAF's fighter force continued to be the nearly one hundred Hawker Furies and a dwindling number of Tempests. There were new developments everywhere. New air bases were being established, the first air defence radar was installed and the PAF was rapidly setting up its own advanced flying and technical training institutions. New generations of post independence youth were gaining skills and confidence under their Pakistani squadron and wing leaders. In 1955, Pakistan's 4-decade association with the United States began in the Cold War against the Communist Bloc states led by the Soviet Union. This alliance transformed the PAF, with new technology jet fighters, bombers, trainers, transport aircraft and helicopters. The old fighter squadrons were gradually re-equipped with jet aircraft and many new ones were established. Under its first Pakistani Commander in-. Chief, this modernization was extended to the PAF's organization and consolidation into a purposefully designed force that could meet the new challenges to national security. A pervasive quest for professionalism began in all air and ground units and gradually replaced the World War II styles of command and leadership. In their foreign training courses the PAF pilots were now matching their combat skills with those of the world's best air forces and achieving ever-higher munitions delivery scores. In 1959 an F-86 pilot had already shot down a high-flying Indian reconnaissance Canberra bomber intruding into Pakistan territory and a year earlier a formation aerobatic team of sixteen Sabers had set a world record. The engineering, logistic and administrative officers were at the same time leading the PAF technicians into delivering unprecedented serviceability rates and efficient management of all resources. Derived from the national military objectives, the PAF's leadership had clearly visualized and laid down the operational doctrine for the nation's air arm and all its personnel were being trained and judged against the highest adoptable professional standards.
 
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