In order to meet a threat from any quater, the PAF keeps itself in a high state of readiness. This capability of instant and effective reaction is dependent upon factors like manning position, command over knowledge of equipment, and the capability of optimizing it.
After the 1971 war, the serious deficiencies in manpower were redressed through a crash training programme. While the search of better equipment is always an ongoing process, the PAF has been quite conscious of its limitations and therefore has strived hard through a rigorous training programme to offset some of the disadvantages in relation to the threat it faces. Since the size of the PAF is one third that of IAF, it will not have the luxury of choosing its own ambit of tactical air operations. That is why the PAF doctrine explicitly states that the role of the PAF is defence of Pakistan, and all other function are subsidiary in nature. The existing operational training that takes place in the squadrons is in conformity with the demands of the mission and the PAF's doctrine.
The PAF's squadrons could be optimized for air-defence, surface attack, and/or multi-role functions with a combination of air defence, surface attack, maritime attack or photo reconnaissance dependent upon the weapon system in use with the unit. Operational training in the PAF squadrons focuses on the role orientation, optimization, and a high degree of realism in a well defined operational training programme. Air Headquaters issues a three-yearly operational training programme to to enable the field commanders to plan their own training schedules. This training programme is designed to ensure the highest state of war preparedness of all the combat squadrons. During the past decade, the PAF conducted a wide variety of exercises and programmes to train and evaluate its combat element in preperation for their wartime roles.