Ackbal is new Air Force Chief

Last update: 03/01/2020

SUBANG, Jan 3 -- The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) deputy chief, Lt Gen Datuk Seri Ackbal Abdul Samad, was today appointed as the 19th Chief of Air Force.

He succeeded Gen Tan Sri Affendi Buang, who took over as the new Chief of Defence Force yesterday.

The ceremony for affixing the general’s rank on Ackbal was performed by Affendi himself at the Subang Air Base here. 

Affendi also handed over the RMAF baton of command to Ackbal at the handing over of duty ceremony.

In his speech, Affendi congratulated Ackbal and said he was the best candidate to lead the RMAF.

“I am confident that Ackbal can continue RMAF’s legacy of excellence and lead it towards the RMAF vision to be a leading force,” he said.

Ackbal, 58, has studied at the Royal Military College, Sungai Besi, from 1978 to 1980.

With encouragement and support from his family, as well as his profound interest to become a fighter jet pilot, he applied to join the RMAF under the Permanent Term Credential Cadet Scheme on June 1, 1980.

In 1983, Ackbal underwent a basic flying course at RMAF Air Base Alor Setar, Kedah, and he was part of the first batch of pilots trained using the Pilatus PC-7 aircraft.

He was then deployed to RMAF Air Base Kuantan, Pahang, to undergo a fighter intermediary flying course using the Aermacchi MB-3391 at the Third Flying Training Centre (Pulatibang III).

The early stages of his career saw him assigned to several RMAF squadrons and between 1985 and 1999, he had also participated in numerous RMAF operations.

In addition to his operational responsibilities, Ackbal was also a member of the MiG-29 aircraft aerobatic team, performing at LIMA (Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition)  in 1995 and 1997, where he was the solo display pilot.