Tahir Rafique Butt takes over command of Pakistan Air Force

ISLAMABAD: Air Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt took over as the new chief of the air staff of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) at a ceremony held here at the Air Headquarters on Monday.

Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman was due to retire on March 18, 2012, on completion of his three-year tenure.

The PAF’s change of command ceremony took place at the Air Headquarters in Islamabad.

Former Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman pinned the batch and handed over the PAF’s Sword of Command to the new Air Marshal.

The PAF’s scout paraded and saluted the former and new Air Marshal.

Born in 1955, Air Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt received his early education at PAF Public School, Sargodha.

Subsequently, he joined Pakistan Air Force and graduated from PAF Academy, Risalpur in March, 1977.

After doing his Fighter and Operational Conversion Courses, he has flown various types of fighters and training aircraft on PAF Inventory.

He is a qualified Flying Instructor and also a Combat Commander on Fighters. He has commanded an elite Fighter Squadron, a Fighter Flying Wing and two PAF Bases.

In staff jobs at Air Headquarters, the Air Marshal has served as Deputy Director Plans, Director Flight Safety, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (P-O) in Personnel Branch and Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Training).

In senior staff assignments, the Air Marshal has the distinction of having served as Director General National Accountability Bureau (KPK) Commandant National Security College, NDU, Air Officer Commanding Southern Air Command and Deputy Chief of the Air Staff (Personnel).

Before taking over as air chief, he was serving as Vice Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force.

Tahir Rafique Butt is a graduate of Staff College, Turkey and National Defence University, Islamabad from where he did his M.Sc in Defence and Strategic Studies.

He is married and blessed with three children. In recognition of his meritorious and exceptionally dedicated services, he has been decorated with the awards of Hilal-i-Imtiaz (Military), Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Military) and Tamgha-i-Basalat.

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