There’s no denying it, these are testing times. Humankind has not seen such a global menaces COVID-19 in a long time. As every single person struggles to cope with the perpetual uncertainty, we must rally as a nation. That was what we had in our sights whilst curating this edition, to look back to our resilient past and promising future. The lead story provides an overview of the evaluation of Pakistan’s airpower capabilities and the available wherewithal at the disposal of three services to deal with contemporary challenges. Another feature chronicles the F-6s and what earned them the status ‘The PAF workhorse’. Since aircraft and equipment can only be as capable as their handlers, we shall narrate the tale of the highly competent Air Cdre Władysław Turowicz, a former polish air force officer, who proved himself to be a true Pakistani. The services rendered by No 10 squadron are also chronicled, with men who have perfected the art of air-to-air refueling. Fortunately, inspirational stories are not just to be found in the nation’s past. Even in these tumultuous times, we have stories of the human spirit overcoming all odds to achieve what they set out to. One such story is that of Rashidabad, the brainchild of Air Cdre Shabbir Ahmed Khan. It is an elevating tale of how an ‘iron will’ can make something useful out of the most shattering of tragedies. Although Rashidabad’s epic spans decades, we also have the tale of senior technician Muhammad Sajjad, which lasted for no more than 18 hours. A man who braved against all odds while holding on to dear life, adrift in the high seas. Add to this, one teacher’s dream to reimagine preschool learning at the PAFWA Educational System (PES) Primary School. Read about a school, where children move around, choose their own activities and the love of learning is instilled in their young minds. However, inspiration can be rendered futile without a realistic assessment of the current circumstances. With a single virus disrupting the world order as we see it, individuals, as well as entire nations, hurry to cope with the immense threat to humanity. We explore how, as the world order is disrupted, old powers stagger, and new contenders rise to affirm themselves. An extremely worrisome by-product of these changing dynamics is the accelerated arms race started by our hostile neighbor, India. On the other hand, technology takes a huge leap forward in the form of 5G networks, which the author elaborates with a fictitious anecdote of how life could be in the 5G lane. Always endeavoring to bring innovation to our publication, we have introduced a new segment of important aviation news from around the world. I hope our worthy readers would like this new addition to the format. All in all, to declare that the issue you hold in your hand is interesting, would be an understatement. Happy Reading!
With the first issue of Second to None, a small yet unwavering team set out to achieve an enormous task. Several late nights and endless efforts later, we finally produced an edition of the magazine that we were content with. As we waited with bated breath, it was read by enthusiasts from all spheres of life. Then, the praise started rolling in. It was beyond what we had hoped for and all our hard work got recognition. We thank you, our readers from all across the world, for the appreciation, for your kind words, and the overwhelming response for making the inaugural magazine, a huge success. Now, we present to you the second edition. We have touched upon a variety of topics and the magazine has been curated with even more meticulous care. With the first anniversary of Operation Swift Retort (OSR), we celebrate the resilience of the nation and analyze the events which made headlines during the last one year. It further delves into the history and dynamics of auspicious Inter Squadron Armament Competitions (ISAC) and its skillful Sher Afghans. We also pay tribute to Wg Cdr Nauman Akram (Shaheed), the man who left many hearts forlorn but much more filled with pride. Speaking of men who make PAF proud, we shall step into the boots of SSW Commandos, dauntless men who are trained to overcome all and any. It goes without saying that remarkable men are molded by great leaders, and PAF has had the fortune of having the finest: one of whom is Air Marshal Malik Nur Khan. The strategic and commercial gains of JF-17B Dual Seater, which has been recently acquired, are also pondered upon.
Moving on from Aviation and PAF, we chronicle the incomparable legacy of Squash in-country and the efforts being made by PAF to reclaim the lost glory. Another sport in which the nation is rapidly becoming a significant player on a global scale is skiing, with skiers and enthusiasts coming in droves from all over the world. We also shed light on the deeply perturbing political and social scenario in our neighbor, India, where a single party has gripped the nation in xenophobic hate and fear. Finally, we talk about COVID 19, delving deep into what makes the virus so deadly and what measures are being taken by PAF alongside Govt of Pakistan/ other sister services to prevent its spread. We hope and pray that by the time the magazine is published, humanity has recovered from the menace of this deadly pandemic. The cover picture has been selected to emphasize the success of the JF-17 Thunder project. OSR was the perfect arena for PAF’s indigenous, single-engine, super-maneuverable JF-17 Thunder to be battle-tested and it more than proved its mettle. So, strap-up, because you are in for a thrilling ride!
January 2020 Editorial:
It is with great delight and pride that we bring to you the first-ever magazine dedicated to Pakistan Air Force. The title for this publication has been borrowed from the kind words of the founder of this great nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. It was during his first visit to the then Royal Pakistan Air Force College, in 1948, where Jinnah said that a country without a strong air force is at the mercy of any aggressor. “Pakistan must build up her air force as quickly as possible. It must be an efficient air force Second to None,” he called upon the nation. This edition has been all about bringing to your events and happenings that put the PAF at the forefront. Second to None explores a range of interesting events and developments starting with a reminiscent look back at the 50 golden years the Mirage has been in service, an aircraft that makes up the bulk of jet fighters in the PAF inventory. Besides the latest in space technology, we also pay tribute to the world-class aerobatics demonstration team of PAF, the Sherdils. Once more, the PAF crew and its C-130 Hercules was the center of attraction at RIAT, the world’s biggest military air show. We also bring to you heartfelt stories from winter sports held in Naltar valley, and a stunning cover image of a climbing PAF Mirage, symbolizing determination and courage in the face of adversity and doing an amazing job, all of which epitomize the Pakistan Air Force. Impactful current affairs from the nation and from around the world are also covered pragmatically.
The magazine would also encapsulate the heroic deeds of fliers, who once ruled the skies, besides acknowledging the valiant courage of the ground crew, who guarded the nation they loved and held allegiance to. Through a series of articles and features, the magazine will also pay homage to top guns of the past who wore silver wings. These warriors victory-rolled glided and tail-chased at heaven’s doors, with God as their protector. The past several months have been busy, gathering views and opinions of contributors. For all their kind support and cooperation to make this publication a success, the makers of this magazine are grateful. To match the standards of world-class international magazines dedicated to the air forces of the world, the editorial team invited submissions from renowned foreign aviation writers and photographers, for our readers to admire. The news stories and features are written by authors who hold expertise in their respective fields and are in line with our literary mission. The high definition images have been provided by the personnel of the Pakistan Air Force, Directorate of Media Affairs, and foreign contributors with a keen interest in aviation photography. We are thankful to all of them. Our mission has been to curate the contents of the magazine in a way that makes it jump off the shelf. In line with inspiring aviation magazines, our team has used a visually appealing design to create material that stands out and is aesthetically memorable. The captions and taglines are simple as well as clever that explain illustrations in an attractive manner. Contents are neither the official views nor endorsed by the PAF. Information in this magazine is current at the time of publication. We would also like to thank Air Marshal Aasim Zaheer, the Patron-in-Chief, for his continuous support and valuable guidance in bringing out the first edition of this magazine. We hope you enjoy and learn from the inspiring stories in this magazine as much as we loved compiling it for our valued readers.
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Air Cdre (R) Muhammad Ali, SI(M)