ISLAMABAD Ahead of arrival of second batch of F-16, Pakistan and the US air forces have jointly conducted aerial refuelling information exchange exercise in order to cement bilateral defence relations. According to the US Embassy, pilots and aircrews from the Pakistan Air Force and US Air Force participated in a joint aerial refuelling information exchange the other day at Pakistan Air Force Base Chaklala. The exercise was part of an on-going effort to enhance cooperation and develop the air refuelling capabilities of both nations, the Embassy press release added. US Air Force pilots and aircrews from the 22nd Expeditionary Air Refuelling Squadron, forward deployed to the Transit Centre at Manas, Kyrgyzstan, arrived at PAF Chaklala on Wednesday to conduct the information exchange with their Pakistan Air Force hosts. Upon arrival, the US airmen invited PAF pilots and aircrews aboard their KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft to familiarise them with US Air Force air refuelling equipment and procedures. US Navy Vice Adm. Michael LeFever, the senior US Defence Representative to Pakistan, host Pakistan Air Commodore Tahir Ranjha, PAF Air Transportation Director; and Air Commodore Khalil Ahmed, PAF Chaklala commander, also aboard the KC-135 aircraft. Events like these promote understanding and enhance our military-to-military relationships while also boosting capability and expertise, said Vice Adm. LeFever. In addition, with the planned arrival of more F-16s to Pakistan later this year, developing PAF air refuelling expertise is critical to increasing their airborne endurance and enhancing their ability to counter the violent extremist threat in their country. Over the last three years, US civilian and security assistance to Pakistan totalled more than $4 billion. US assistance has included support for medical aid, school refurbishment, bridge and well reconstruction, food distribution, agricultural and education projects, 14 F-16 fighter aircrafts, 5 fast patrol boats, 115 self-propelled Howitzer field artillery cannons, more than 450 vehicles for Pakistans Frontier Corps, hundreds of night-vision goggles, day/night scopes, radios, and thousands of protective vests and first-aid items for Pakistans security forces. In addition, the US funded and provided training for more than 370 Pakistani military officers in a wide range of leadership and development programmes covering topics such as counterterrorism, intelligence, logistics, medical, flight safety and military law.