Asif Sandila

Asif Sandila
Asif Sandila
US Navy 090821-N-8273J-181 Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Gary Roughead meets with Pakistan Fleet Commander, Rear Adm. Asif Sandila during an office call at Pakistan Naval Technical School in Karachi, Pakistan.jpg
USN CNO Admiral Gary Roughead meets with Admiral Asif Sandila during an office call at Pakistan Naval Academy.
Birth name Muhammad Asif Sandila
Born 1954 (age 56–57)
Shaikhupura, Punjab Province, West-Pakistan
Allegiance  Pakistan
Service/branch Naval Jack of Pakistan.svg Pakistan Navy
Years of service 1975 - Present
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg Admiral
Unit Naval Operations Branch
Commands held Chief of Naval Staff
Chief of Staff
Commander Pakistan Fleet
DCNS (Projects and Operations)
25th Destroyer Squadron
Pakistan Coast Guard
Naval Strategic Forces Command
Pakistan Naval Observatory
Battles/wars Indo-Pakistani War of 1999
Atlantique Incident
Operation Enduring Freedom - HOA
Operation Madad-I
Operation Madad-II
Operation Umeed-e-Nuh
Awards Legion of Honour
Hilal-i-Imtiaz (military)
Sword of Honour

Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila, (Urdu: محمد ﺁصف سندیلہ; born: 1954, HI(M), L'honneur), is a 4-star rank admiral who is the current and 19th Chief of Naval Staff of Pakistan Navy.[1][2] Before appointing to this 4 star assignment, Sandila was serving at the 3 star assignment— the Chief of Staff in the Pakistan Navy which he assumed in 2010.[3][4].

In 2011, President Asif Ali Zardari, on the request of Prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani, promoted Sandila to 4 star rank and appointed him as the Chief of the Naval Staff on October 7th, 2011 upon retirement of current Naval Chief of Staff Admiral Noman Bashir.[5]



Sandila hails from Sangla Hills, Sheikhupura, Punjab Province where he completed his primary education from there.[6] Thereafter, he studied in Cadet College Kohat where he gained high school diploma from there.[6] In 1971, shortly after the 1971 Winter war, Sandila passed the university entrance exam and the officer exam from Sheikhupura. Sandila gained and received admission at the Pakistan Naval Academy in 1972 and entered in Business Administration Department at the Naval Academy.[6] Sandila also attended the Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth, United Kingdom where he certified as a surface warfare officer.[6] In 1975, Sandila gained B.B.A. in Business Administration and again commissioned in the Naval Operations Branch as a Sub-Lieutenant in the Navy.[6] Asif Sandila is the first Kohatian to have gained the top naval rank and first four star officer from Kohat.[6] Lieutenant-General (Retd) Sabahat Hussain and Maj Gen (Retd) Haroon Sikander Pasha are other prominent Kohatians who rose to the rank of three and two-star ranks.[6]

Sandila also attended and graduated from Pakistan Naval War College where he completed M.Sc. in Naval strategy.[6] Through the Naval College, Sandila went tto Indonesia for one year deputation where he attended the Indonesian Navy's Naval Command and Staff College, and completed a Naval Staff course.[6] Sandila also attended and gained M.Sc. in War studies from National Defence University (NDU).[6]

Naval career

Asif Sandila joined Pakistan Navy in 1972 as a non-commissioned officer and gainedcommissioned in the Naval Operations Branch in June 1975, prior to his undergraduate degree. He specialized as Principal Warfare Officer from United Kingdom. Throughout his naval career, Sandila has held challenging naval command and staff appointments. From 1980s till 1990s, Sandil served as the ADC to former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and former Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Iftikhar Ahmed Sirohey.[6]

As Captain, Sandila commanded the PNS Badr, a guided-missile destroyer. As 1-star Commodore, Sandila commanded the 25th Destroyer Squadron during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1999.

In 2002, Sandila was promoted to 2-star rank Rear-Admiral and served as the Chief of Staff of Pakistan Coast Guard, which he commanded until 2005. From 2006 till 2007, Rear-Admiral Sandila served as the Commander of Naval Logistics (COMLOG) and commanded all the logistic naval facilities of Pakistan Navy. In October 2008, Sandila commanded the Pakistan Naval Fleet. From 2008 till 2009, Sandila commanded the entire Pakistan's naval combatant fleet and entire naval combatant operations. In 2010, Sandila was promoted to 3-star rank Vice-Admiral and was made Chief of Staff of Pakistan Navy, a second-in-command naval staff position in the navy.

Staff Appointments

Sandila held and had been appointed to the important staff positions. He has served as Divisional Officer and Training Commander at the Pakistan Naval Academy.[3] In 2001, he served as the Fleet Operations Officer to Commander Pakistan Fleet.[3] At the Naval Combatant Headquarters (NHQ), he was assigned the duties of Flag Lieutenant to Chief of Staff, Director Project (Plans), Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Plans) and Principal Secretary to Chief of the Naval Staff.[3] As Flag Officer, he has headed the Operations and Project Branches of Navy in the capacity of Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Operations) and Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Projects) at Naval Headquarters Islamabad.[3] In the field, he has been Chief of Staff of Pakistan Coast Guard Commander Pakistan Naval Fleet and Commander Logistics before taking over his present appointment as Chief of Staff (COS) at Naval Headquarters. He is recipient of the award of Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Military) and Chevalier de II order National Due Merit for rescue of French national in Maldives during Tsunami in December 2004.[3]

Chief of Naval Staff

On October 5th, 2011, Pakistan Media began to surface the news about Sandila as the new Chief of Naval Staff.[7] While as Chief of Staff, Sandila was promoted to 4 star rank by the President on the request of Prime minister.[7] His 4 star promotion became the headline news in the country, and Media began to speculated about his possible 4 star assignment.[7] On October 6, Presidential and Prime minister's spokeswoman Farahnaz Ispahani confirmed the reports. On October 7th, Admiral Sandila took over the command of Pakistan Navy as Chief of Naval Staff.[8] The change of command ceremony was held at Naval Headquarters, Rawalpindi.[9] Admiral Sandila received the guard of honor prior to the assuming the the navy's command.[9]


  1. ^ Staff Report (2011). "Admiral Asif Sandila sworn in as Chief of Naval Staff" (in English). Daily Times (Daily Times): pp. 1. Retrieved 2011. 
  2. ^ "Admiral Asif Sandila assumes command of Pakistan Navy". 7 October 2011. Retrieved 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Islamabad Desk (August 12, 2010). "Sandila made Chief of Staff" (in English Language). The Nation (Nawa-i-Waqt Group): pp. 1. 
  4. ^ News Headlines (August 2010). "Rear-Admiral Asif Sandila Promoted to Vice Admiral". Aaj TV. Business Recorder Group. Retrieved 2010. 
  5. ^ Islamabad News Desk Report. "New Naval Chief Calls on President" (in English). Dawn Newspapers (Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory: Dawn Media Group): pp. 1. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Islamabad Desk (Sunday 09th October, 2011). "Admiral Sandila takes charge as new naval chief" (HTML). Online News. Retrieved 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c Pakistan Observer. (October 5, 2011). "Admiral Asif Sandila to be CNS". 
  8. ^ "Asif Sandila confirmed as Navy chief". October 7, 2011. Retrieved 2011. 
  9. ^ a b GEO TV: Nation News (October 5, 2011). "Admiral Sandila takes charge as new naval chief" (HTM). GEO TV. Retrieved 2011. 

External Links

Military offices
Preceded by
ADM Noman Bashir
Chief of Naval Staff
October 7, 2011 – Present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
VADM Shahid Iqbal
Chief of Staff
August 10, 2010 – October 6, 2011
Succeeded by
VADM Tayyab Ali Dogar

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