SHAH ALAM: New PAT in the new year. RMAF chief Gen Affendi Buang has been promoted as the 21st Chief of Defence Force today , replacing Gen Zulkifli Zainal Abidin, who is retiring. Affendi is the first Sarawakian to achieve the highest position in the national security sector since Merdeka.
The handover ceremony between Affendi, 58 and Zulkifli, 61 took place at the Defence Ministry this afternoon. In the morning, Zulkifli was honoured with a farewell parade at the Perdana camp, Sungai Besi.
Zulkifli took over as PAT in June 20, 2020. New Chief, Plan B, Sort Off. Affendi is the second PAT from RMAF, though the first non-Army PAT was Adm. Anwar Mohammad Nor of the RMN, who served from April, 2005 to January, 2007.
Gen. Affendi biodata from RMAF website.
General Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Hj Affendi bin Buang RMAF was born on 21 August 1962 in Kuching, Sarawak. His early education was obtained in Kuching, Sarawak but in 1978, he was selected to further his secondary education at the Royal Military College in Sungai Besi until completion of his Malaysian Certificate of Examination in 1979.
Gen Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Hj Affendi joined the Malaysian Armed Forces as an RMAF Officer Cadet in 1980 and received his basic training at the Officer Cadet School, Sebatang Kara, Port Dickson. In 1981, he was selected to undergo Basic Flying Training at RMAF Alor Setar and upon completion was commissioned into the Royal Malaysian Air Force as a Second Lieutenant in 1982. Based on his knowledge, skill and attitude as well as temerity and maturity, Gen Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Hj Affendi was posted to No 3 Flying Training Center in RMAF Kuantan for his initial jet conversion on the MB-339A. From then on, his career as a fighter pilot took off with his subsequent Operational Conversion on the McDonnell Douglas A-4 Skyhawk at No 9 Sqn in October 1984 followed by his first operational tour on the A-4 Skyhawk at No 6 Sqn in June 1985. In recognition of his knowledge, skill and attitude as a fighter pilot, Gen Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Hj Affendi was sent for his Instructor Pilot’s course in Jan 1988 at ILIT, RMAF Alor Setar and was subsequently posted back to No 9 Sqn in July 1988 as an Instructor Pilot on the A-4 Skyhawk.
In recognition of his forte, Gen Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Hj Affendi was among the officers selected for the RMAF MiG-29 Project Team in 1994, which later became the MiG-29 RMAF Technical Team in Russia. Together with the former Chief of RMAF Gen Tan Sri Rodzali (Retired) and current Deputy Chief of RMAF Lt Gen Dato’ Sri Ackbal, Gen Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Hj Affendi was the pioneer cadres for the induction of the MiG-29 into RMAF operational capability and was instrumental in the knowledge transfer process for the build-up of the RMAF MiG-29 operational capabilities. Gen Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Hj Affendi was also one of the founding members of the RMAF MiG-29 tactical aerobatics team popularly known as “Smokey Bandits”. He later led the “Smokey Bandits” during his tenure as the Commanding Officer of No 17/19 Sqn.
With the promotion of Affendi as the CDF, RMAF deputy chief Lt. Gen. Ackbal Abdul Samad, 58 is to be promoted as the chief tomorrow. He will also be promoted as a general. Like Affendi, Ackbal was also a fighter pilot as well as a flight instructor and test pilot.
Taking over as deputy RMAF chief is Lt Gen. Asghar Goriman Khan who is currently the RMAF Training and Education commander. RMAF has not put up his background but Asghar is also a fighter pilot by training. He had previously commanded the 11th Squadron, which flies the Sukhoi Su-30MKM Flanker.
RMAF Air Support Commander Maj. Gen Mohammad Salleh Osman will be promoted as the Air Operations Commander, the third most senior rank in the air force. He replaces Lt Gen. Abdul Mutalib Abd Wahab who is retiring.
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