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25 Squadron

No 25 Squadron was formed in January 1966 at PAF Base, Sargodha as a tactical fighter unit under the command of Wing Commander M G Tawab, who was later to become the Chief of Air Staff of the Bangladesh Air Force. Being one of the first two fighter squadrons to be equipped with F-6 aircraft the unit was assigned the additional task of converting pilots of other squadrons on the type as well. This task was accomplished speedily and safely and 25 Squadron can be justifiably proud of having converted a large number of the F-6 fighter pilots who later participated in the war of 1971.

In 1967, No. 25 Squadron pilots took part in the PAF's biggest ever fire power demonstration, staged in honour of the Shah of Iran. In 1968, the squadron presented a formation aerobatics demonstration for Marshal Grechko, defence minister of the USSR. Also in 1968 the unit, under the command of Squadron Leader Imtiaz A Bhatti, won the inter-squadron armament competition. In 1984 the squadron was awarded the best formation trophy in the Pakistan Day fly past. In the 1971 war, the squadron operated from Sargodha as well as Mianwali, and flew 103 sorties in air defence and for close air support in the Shakargarh area. The squadron was credited with 2 enemy aircraft destroyed and 1 damaged. Flight Lieutenant Javed A Qazi was taking off when the airfield was attacked; he chased and shot down one of the attacking Hunters and was awarded Sitara-i-Juraat. During the operations, the squadron lost one aircraft due to enemy action and the pilot, Flight Lieutenant Shahid Raza was martyred.

In April 1976, the squadron was again assigned the role of training pilots on F-6 aircraft upto operational status. So far the unit has converted over 500 such pilots. In 1980 some FT-6 aircraft were also allotted to the squadron to facilitate its training program.

On 27 August 1986, 25 Squadron was permanently shifted to PAF Base Mianwali to be merged into 14 OCU as the later was nominated to become the third F-16 squadron of the PAF. It was tasked to conduct operational conversion of the graduates of 1 FCU on F-6/FT-6 aircraft. On 17 October 1989, the squadron moved to Sargodha as the re-carpeting of the runway at Mianwali was in progress. The squadron moved back to Mianwali on 30 March 1990.

The 31 OCU was the last F-6 conversion course to be graduated by 25 OCU, after which the squadron's assets were withdrawn and allotted to 17 and 23 Squadrons. The last F-6 of the 25 Squadron took-off for Samungli on 9 December 1995.

The squadron was relocated at PAF Base Minhas on 25 January 1996. It formed a staging flight for ROSE modified Mirage aircraft. The squadron completed trials on all such aircraft in 1998. These ROSE-I modified aircraft now form part of 7 Squadron and CCS Mirage Squadron.

The squadron was re-designated as 25 TA Squadron and assigned the specialist night attack role with effect from March 1997. On 29 September 1998, the first two Mirage-V EF (ROSE-II) aircraft were ferried to Minhas from France. The squadron will become a full-fledged operational squadron as the other ROSE-II aircraft arive in Pakistan.

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