Located in the outskirts of Rawalpindi, Qasim Base is posed to play a vital role in any potential conflicts, providing logistical support to the troops fighting in multiple areas, as the war effort is known locally and internationally. The facility has got some old hangars built almost 50 years ago augmenting the latest build and more modern ones. Security measures are at a considerably higher level than when the Pakistan Army Aviation moved here in the late 50’s. High walls built around the operational areas to protect them from rocket attacks from outside. Military bases are always a prime target for miscreants.
Squadrons posted at Qasim Base provide troops with transportation, logistical support and any other services that Pakistan Army Aviation can provide to the outstretched military operations and even civil operations.
As well as aviation squadrons, Qasim Base is home of several maintenance facilities, ensuring that all operational helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft must go through their periodic inspections, maintenance checks or battle damage repair. Personnel from these units, working in Light Aviation Detachments (LADs) regularly deployed to the front line providing first-line maintenance and battle damage repairs.
Army Aviation Group
Qasim Base became the residency to the new Army Aviation Group developed to meet the biggest challenges of all squadrons, providing the airborne logistical support, has stretched the units, as it wasn’t an easy task during Operations in FATA and SWAT. The fraught with dangers was just not from miscreants firing AK47s, RPGs and some other anti-aircraft weapon but the unpredictable weather, high altitudes and tough terrain were also not friendly.
By 2003, the ground operations of Pakistan Army Aviation stepped up a gear. This is because strategic aviation was needed like never before, to supply the troops and support other ground operations in war zones and civil areas. There are 6-8 Cobras always ready to sting against any misadventure. A fleet of Mi-17’s and Pumas is ready to respond to any emergency in-state or at the borders.
In 2004, for the first time, Pakistan Army Aviation conducted the first heli-drop. A complete battalion was moved to the designated site in Wana during operation. After then, multiple times Army Aviation assisted immediate deployments in forwarding operational areas.
They are not good at war only, multiple times Army Aviation was there to take over the responsibility of aerial evacuations, security surveillance, strategic movement or deployment and or rescuing people from angry nature at highest peaks.
They are equipped with multiple type weapon systems; modified and upgraded for different operations to serve the military and civil needs of the state.
While the attention in the flying department is all taken by the Pakistan Air Force, these people at Army Aviation certainly are the backbone of ground operations by the Pakistan Armed Forces.
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