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Michael John O'Brian

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Birth name  Michael John O'Brian
Allegiance  Pakistan
Years of service  1946–1984
Other name  M.J. O'Brain
Nickname(s)  M.J. O'Brain
Service/branch  Pakistan Air Force
Unit  No. 9 Squadron
Michael John O'Brian httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaen77bAVM
Born  5 January 1928 Lahore, Punjab, British India (1928-01-05)
Rank  Air Vice Marshal (Major-General)
Died  10 March 2002, Islamabad, Pakistan
Education  College of Flying Training, Pakistan Air Force Academy
Awards  Tamgha-i-Jurat, Sitara-e-Basalat, Nishan-e-Imtiaz
Battles and wars  Indo-Pakistani War of 1947

Air Vice-Marshal (Major-General) Michael John O'Brian, (Urdu: مايكل او براءين; born: 5 January 1928 – 10 March 2002), was a retired air force officer and two-star general in the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) who served as the Commandant of National Defence University, Islamabad. O'Brian was the first Pakistan Air Force general to serve as the Commandant of the university. He also served as the Deputy Chief of Air Staff, and was one of the distinguished Christian pilots who participated in Indo-Pakistan wars of 1947, 1965, and the 1971.


Early life

Born into an Indian Christian family in Lahore, O'Brian enlisted in the Indian Air Force in 1946. O'Brian studied in Forman Christian College He opted for Pakistani citizenship in 1947, and actively participated in Indo-Pakistani War of 1947. After the war, O'Brian pursued his BSc in mathematics in Forman Christian College in 1948. O'Brian is a graduate of Pakistan Air Force Academy's College of Flying Training where he gained a BS in Aviation Sciences, also receiving a Certified Diploma in Flying from the Flying Instructors School. O'Brian holds a MSc in Military Science and an honorary PhD in War studies from National Defence University, Islamabad.

Military career

O'Brian was one of the distinguished and pioneering PAF fighter pilots who participated in Indo-Pakistani wars of 1947, 1965, and 1971. A fighter pilot, O'Brian played an important role in setting up the training institutes within the Pakistan Air Force. He was promoted to Air Vice Marshal (AVM) in 1969, and led military missions in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. After the war O'Brian achieved the penultimate position in PAF and served as the Deputy Chief of Air Staff. Air Vice Marshal O'Brian also achieved a rare distinction as having been the only PAF Officer to serve as the Commandant of National Defence College. In 1974, O'Brian was given command of Sargodha Air Force base. O'Brian played an important and significant role in the up-grading of the facility. He also supervised the nuclear test sites near Kirana Hills, and personally oversaw the construction of the test site. O'Brian was a senior member of the military unit Special Development Works (SDW) headed by Brigadier-General Muhammad Sarfaraz. As a military intellectual, he played an important role in the nuclear policy of Pakistan. In March 1983, the first experiment of a cold-test of a nuclear device was headed by Dr. Ishfaq Ahmad and Munir Ahmad Khan. All they needed next was some fissile material and they would have had an atomic bomb, as pointed out by Houston Wood, Professor of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA in his article on gas centrifuges. O'Brian was one of the senior military officials who eye-witnessed the first cold test of a nuclear device. For his services, he was conferred with civil awards, and O'Brian took honorary retirement from the Pakistan Air Force in 1984, and joined the National Defence University, Islamabad, as a professor of War and Strategic studies. He retired in 1994 and lived a quiet life in Islamabad, Pakistan.


Michael John O'Brian Wikipedia

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