Coronavirus pandemic- PAF is providing crucial relief operations


PAF relief operations providing much needed supplies 

Pakistan air Force is a thoroughly professional- highly skilled and disciplined force- which considered among the best in the world. The lion-hearted brave pilots- engineers- technicians and other officials not only defend the airspace of the country but also provide much needed relief operations during natural calamities. The brave officers and soldiers of PAF are always ready to put their lives at stake whether it is a war or a peacetime operations. Pakistan Air Force is a source of pride for Pakistani nation.      
Pakistan Air Force once again providing much needed help and assistance in the fight against deadly coronavirus epidemic. Pakistan Air Force launched its relief operations long before coronavirus started to spread in Pakistan. PAF had played crucial and active role during natural disasters of 2005 earthquake and 2010-11 flooding. PAF launched one of the biggest rescue and relief operations during the 2005 earthquake in Kashmir and parts of KPK province.
PAF transported Medical supplies in the first week of February from Pakistan to China's Wuhan City, which was epicenter of coronavirus and was struggling to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. PAF transport planes were used to transport tons of essential supplies to Wuhan city. PAF also provide food and other supplies to the Pakistani students stranded in Wuhan city when the city was in the grip of the pandemic. PAF pilots and crew put their lives at stake to provide the supplies to the people when they needed them the most.

Since March, 2020 PAF playing leading role in bringing much needed supplies from China. PAF transport planes have so far brought tons of essential supplies for doctors- paramedical staff and hospitals. PAF’s IL-78 fly to China to bring the 20,000 N-95 masks, 0.3 million medical facemasks, 10 ICU ventilators, and 5 portable ventilators gifted by Chinese government to Pakistan.
Pakistan Air Force is not only bringing the desperately needed medical supplies including ventilators- masks- testing kits and other medical equipment from China to supply it to the hospitals. PAF is also providing food and medical supplies to far flung areas in Gilgit-Baltistan- Kashmir and Baluchistan.
PAF also provided C-130 transport plane to carry PIA pilots who volunteered to fly sorties bringing back stranded Pakistanis from abroad due to COVID-19 outbreak on the orders of Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan. The Air Chief entertained the request of PIA CEO Air Marshal Arshad Malik and provided the support to PIA to carry out the repatriation operations.

 Whenever the people of Pakistan needed and required the services of Pakistan Air Force in difficult times- the PAF has devoted its resources and its entire transport fleets to provide relief and rescue. How can one forget the sacrifices made by the PAF during the 2005 earth quake?
The PAF deployed its C-130 aircraft that shifted the injured to hospitals even when the runways had virtually broken and cracked due to the devastating effects of the quake. These were the pilots of the PAF, who would distribute food handouts and other essential items at lower altitudes, rescue people to other relatively safe areas, and provide relief to the suffering people. The marathon operation — in which a fleet of C-130, CN-235, B-707, Alouette-III, and Y-12 aircraft played a major role — continued from 10th October, 2005 to January 2006.

Moreover, a total of 2,442 tonnes of food and other essential items, including medicines, were   shifted and as many as 3,342 people were rescued. PAF officers and junior staff contributed generously in the earth quack relief fund of federal government. Collections of goods were made and send to different affected areas.
Same thing happened during the devastating floods of 2010 -11. PAF provided every help possible to the flood affected population in Sindh. A Crisis Control Cell was established at Air Headquarters Islamabad to centrally control the rescue & relief activities. Additionally, Collection Points were established at all PAF Bases to collect relief goods and donations for the affected people.             
PAF officers and soldiers donated generously to the flood relief funds. PAF employees had contributed two days salary as donation for the flood affected people.
PAF also voluntarily airlift relief goods donated by charity / welfare organizations by its C 130 aircraft free of charge to the rain affected areas. PAF Helicopters and Boats were used in the flood affected districts of Sindh to carryout rescue and relief operations. Medical Camps were also established at various locations to provide emergency medical facilities to the affected people. PAF employees had contributed two days salary as donation for the flood affected people.
PAF were again at the forefront of supplying food items and ration to the people, along with the soldiers of the Pakistan Army and the Pakistan Navy. The helicopter fleet of the Pakistan Air Force constituting of French-made Alouette-III and Russian made MI-17 helicopters played an immense role in providing supplies and rescuing stranded people.
                                                          Khalid Bhatti


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