By Lt Col (R) Rashid Zia Cheema (2nd SSC)
In 1984, I was attending Gunnery Staff Course at AA (now Air Def) School, Malir Cantt. I was given an IP (Instructional Practice) on Super Fledermaus, a Fire Control radar, which was in use by the Swiss Air Force and some other countries including Saudi Arabia. Unlike these days, no Internet facilities were available for research, so I went to the School Library for research and found very brief details in Jane’s Weapon, a journal which is considered as bible of strategic weapons systems—in development, in production and in service worldwide.
That scanty detail obtained from Jane’s Weapon was insufficient for an instructional period of 40 minutes. One of the fellow students, Maj GM Qureshi (1st SSC), had served in Saudi Arabia on secondment and his unit there had Oerlikon antiaircraft guns and Super Fledermaus radars. He gave me a two-page Brochure about the Super Fledermaus radar. I prepared my IP but the material was still inadequate for the complete period.
Another brilliant student, Capt Waseem Rashid Hashmi (53 PMA), when saw me in shemozzle, asked, “Sir, kaya masla hai?”
I told him about my dilemma. After listening to my problem, he said, “Let me ‘create’ some diagrams from the text of the Brochure for your IP. You will spend some time in explaining the diagrams and your problem will be solved.”
“Waseem, it will be very embarrassing, if the sponsoring IG (Instructor Gunnery) comes to know about your ‘creation'”, I said with concern.
Waseem gave a big laugh and said, “Sir jee, how will he know? He will have only the Jane’s Weapon at his disposal.”
So Waseem added some ‘details’/diagrams and the IP went through OK. No probing questions were asked by the IG as he too had very limited knowledge about the Super Fledermaus radar.
Fast forward to Sep 1991. I was promoted and posted to 133 Gun Missile Regt at Mangla as CO. Maj Waseem was already in the unit performing the duties of 2/IC.
After a week of my arrival, the unit received a letter from Bde HQ asking for comments on some topic. It was a routine letter sent to all units. As a matter of fact, there was no need for sending it to the under command units, the DQ could have written some brief comments himself and send to Corps HQ. I didn’t want the 2/IC to send it to the Batteries for their comments, I remarked on the letter:
“2/IC, make a Super Fledermaus and send it to Bde HQ today.”
Maj Waseem got the point and wrote some brief verbose comments and brought it to me for my signatures. We laughed over it and talked about the good old days and also about Waseem’s ‘genuine help’ which he extended back in 1984 for my IP on Super Fledermaus.
I commanded the unit for almost 2 years and Maj Waseem ‘made’ so many more Super Fledermaus during that memorable period. In August 1993, Waseem was promoted and I handed over the command to him. I wonder whether Col Waseem’s 2/IC was capable of ‘making’ Super Fledermaus radars or not!! Let’s wait for Lt Col (R) Waseem Rashid’s comments in the comment box of this post.
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