The Chief of Air Staff (Urdu: سربراہ پاک فضائيه) (reporting name: CAS), is a military appointment and a statutory office held by the four-star rank air force general in the Pakistan Air Force, who is appointed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan and final confirmation by the President of Pakistan. The CAS is the highest-ranking officer of the Pakistan Air Force and only pilots are appointed in this post.
The Chief of Air Staff is a senior most military appointment in the Pakistani military who is a senior member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee in a separate capacity, usually providing necessary consultation to the Chairman joint chiefs to act as a principle military adviser to the Prime Minister and its civilian government in the line of defending and guarding the nations's airspace and aerial borders.:40
The Chief of Air Staff exercise its responsibility of command and control of the operational, administration, combatant, logistics, and training commands within the Air Force, as an oppose to its U.S. Air Force's Chief of Staff.:140 Due to its statue, the Chief of Air Staff maintain its importance of providing the strategic control and final decision-making issues relating the nation's national security.
The appointment, in principle, is constitutionally subjected for three years but extensions may be granted by the President upon recommendations and approvals from the Prime Minister. The Chief of Air Staff is based on the Air AHQ, and the current Chief of Air Staff is Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, serving in this capacity since 19 March 2015.
The Pakistan Air Force was created from the partition of the Royal Indian Air Force after the partition of India in 1947, and were commanded by the appointments approved by the British Air Council. The position was then-known as the Commander in Chief who would directly reported to the Governor-General who was also under British monarchs.:238 At first, the office was held by the two-star rank air officer, an Air Vice Marshal, and later upgraded to a three-star rank, Air Marshal. The British Air Council continued making the appointment at the command level until 1957, when Pakistan had promoted a local air officer to the commanding position.:238
On 20 March 1972, the title of the office was changed from "Commander in Chief" to the "Chief of Air Staff" with Air Marshal Zafar Chaudhry being appointed as the first air chief.:contents The Air Force had its first four-star rank officer, an Air Chief Marshal, in 1974.:contents The term of the superannuation was then constrained to three years in the office as opposed to four years and air chief was made a permanent member of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.:contents Since 1974, there has been 14 four-star rank air force officers who have commanded the air force as its air chief.:contents
The Chief of Air Staff is nominated and appointed by the Prime Minister whose appointment is then confirmed by the President. The air force leadership is based in the Air AHQ in Islamabad, at the vicinity of the Navy NHQ.
The Chief of Air Staff leads the functions of the Air AHQ, assisted by the civilians from the Air Force Secretariat-II of the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The Chief of Air Staff exercise its responsibility of complete operational, training and logistics commands. In addition, the Air chief has several staff officers:
Rank insignia of the whole PAF was changed from Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed.
|Order||Name||Rank||Portrait||Appointment Date||End of Term||Decorations|
|1.||Allan Perry-Keene||Air Vice Marshal||15 August 1947||17 February 1949||CB, OBE|
|2||Richard Atcherley||Air Vice Marshal||18 February 1949||6 May 1951||CB, CBE, AFC|
|3||Leslie William Cannon||Air Vice Marshal||7 May 1951||19 June 1955||CB, CBE|
|4||Arthur McDonald||Air Vice Marshal||20 June 1955||22 July 1957||CB AFC|
|5||Asghar Khan||Air Marshal||23 July 1957||22 July 1965||HPk, HQA|
|6||Nur Khan||Air Marshal||23 July 1965||31 August 1969||SPk, HJ, HS, HQA, OI(J), NOC, OVN|
|7||Abdul Rahim Khan||Air Marshal||1 September 1969||2 March 1972||SPk, HJ, SBt|
|1||Zafar Chaudhry||Air Marshal||3 March 1972||15 April 1974||SQA|
|2||Zulfiqar Ali Khan||Air Chief Marshal||16 April 1974||22 July 1978||NI(M)|
|3||Anwar Shamim||Air Chief Marshal||23 July 1978||5 March 1985||NI(M), SJ|
|4||Jamal Khan||Air Chief Marshal||6 March 1985||8 March 1988||NI(M), SJ, SBt|
|5||Hakimullah||Air Chief Marshal||9 March 1988||9 March 1991||NI(M), SJ, SBt|
|6||Farooq Feroze Khan||Air Chief Marshal||9 March 1991||8 November 1994||NI(M), SBt|
|7||Abbas Khattak||Air Chief Marshal||8 November 1994||7 November 1997||NI(M), SBt|
|8||Parvaiz Mehdi Qureshi||Air Chief Marshal||7 November 1997||20 November 2000||NI(M), SBt|
|9||Mushaf Ali Mir||Air Chief Marshal||20 November 2000||20 February 2003||NI(M), SBt|
|10||Kaleem Saadat||Air Chief Marshal||18 March 2003||18 March 2006||NI(M)|
|11||Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed||Air Chief Marshal||18 March 2006||18 March 2009||NI(M), SBt|
|12||Rao Qamar Suleman||Air Chief Marshal||19 March 2009||19 March 2012||NI(M), HI(M), SI(M), TI(M), SBt, LOM, OM, OKA|
|13||Tahir Rafique Butt||Air Chief Marshal||19 March 2012||19 March 2015||NI(M), TBt|
|14||Sohail Aman||Air Chief Marshal||19 March 2015||Present||NI(M), HI(M), SI(M), TI(C)|
The Vice Chief of Air Staff (VCAS) is the post that is principal deputy and second-in-command (S-in-C) of the Pakistan Air Force, reporting under the Chief of Air Staff. The post is usually held by an Air Marshal, a three-star rank air force general, who is responsible for flight safety, intelligence, procurement, public relations, and the Air War College.