Deputy Chief Of Airforce





Lt Gen Dato’ Sri Ackbal Bin Haji Abdul Samad, RMAF hails from the state of Johor Darul Takzim.  He was born on 4 September 1962.  The eldest of four siblings, he grew up in Klang, Selangor, before his family moved to Petaling Jaya in the late 1970's.

Lt Gen Ackbal was a student of the Boys Wing in the Royal Military College (RMC) from 1978 to 1980. With the encouragement of his family and his profound interest to become a fighter jet pilot he rejected several scholarships and career course offers from the Malaysia Airlines System, Malaysian International Shipping Corporation (MISC) and Sime Darby.  Instead, on 1 June 1980, he applied to join the Cadet Wing of the RMC in Sungai Besi, with the goal of becoming a regular service commissioned officer in the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF).

In 1983, Lt Gen Ackbal underwent a basic flying course at RMAF Air Base Alor Setar.  Initially, he trained for a year in the Pilatus PC 7 aircraft.   He then transferred to RMAF Air Base Kuantan, Third Flying Training Center (PULATIBAND III) to undergo a fighter intermediary flying course using the Aermacchi MB-339A.  Prior to his departure from RMAF Alor Setar, he won all the challenge trophies available, to include the Best Junior Studies Trophy, Best Pilot Trophy, and Best Overall Student Trophy.  He continued his success when at RMAF Kuatan he won the 1985 Best Student Fighter-Lead-In Trophy.

The early stages of his career saw him assigned to RMAF’s Squadron 6 and Squadron 9, where he flew the A-4 Skyhawk.  Upon transferring to RMAF Air Base Butterworth he was assigned to RMAF Squadron 11 and Squadron 12, where he flew the F-5E.   

            In 1994 Lt Gen Ackbal returned from Russia where he achieved currency in the MiG-29.  He was then tasked to stand-up and command RMAF Squadron 19, home to the newly acquired MiG-29N aircraft.  While leading Squadron 19 he lead and participated in an operation that provided aerial reconnaissance of Layang Layang Reef, a disputed island in the South China Sea.  He also participated in operations focused on the eradication of communist insurgents on the Malaysia-Thailand border. In addition to his operational responsibilities, Lt Gen Ackbal was 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.

            In 1990 he returned to RMAF Alor Setar to attain his instructor pilot certification.  He achieved this goal and was awarded the Best Student Award.  In 1992, Lt Gen Ackbal was selected by a RMAF Special Selection Panel to attend Test Pilot school in the United Kingdom. While undergoing the course, he flew numerous aircraft frames and simulators (19 types),which included the Royal Air Force's Jaguar fighter jet, the Russian MiG-29, the Czech Republic's Aero-Vodocody L-39 Albatross, the Hawk T-MK 1, the Lear Jet-Variable stability test platform, the BAE 146, the Saab 2000, the King Air, Air Gliders, Aerobatic Extra 300 aircraft, Boeing 737-300 simulator aircraft, Airbus A320 simulator aircraft, Hawk 200 simulator, Jaguar simulator, and the Eurofighter simulator.  His test pilot qualification allowed him participate in RMAF flight trials of the Hawk, Aermacchi, F5-E, Beechcraft B200T, and MiG-29 aircraft.

            After approximately 15 years of serving as operations pilot, Lt Gen Ackbal was then designated by RMAF to lead at the senior management and operational level.  This included postings at Formation Headquarters and the RMAF Headquarters at the Ministry of Defense. Among the posts that he held were the post operations officer in the New Fighter Aircraft Project team - Air Force Headquarters in 93/94, Staff Officer 1 for Security and Standardization at No.1 Air Division in 2000, Director of Planning and Development at the Air Force Headquarters from 2002 to 2004, Acting Chief of Staff of Planning and Development (5 months), Acting Chief of 1st Division Air Force (3 months), Commander of the Kuantan Air Base from October 2004 to February 2006, Commander of No.2 Air Division at the Federal Territory of Labuan from March 2006 to January 2007, Commander of Air Logistics from February 2007 to September 2010, Commander of No.1 Air Division from September 2010 to November 2010, Commander of Air Operations from November 2010 to November 2014, Joint Force Commander from November 2014 to August 2015, Air Operations Commander from 5 August 2015 to 20 December 2016.

            Lt Gen Ackbal also attended the following schools located outside of Malaysia:  Electronic Warfare course and  the Instructor Techniques course at the Naval Training Center in San Diego, California (1988), Royal New Zealand Staff College, Whenuapai (Auckland), New Zealand (1996), Simulator System operation and management course in Montreal, Canada (1997), and a course in academic, defense and strategic studies at Weston Creek, Canberra, Australia (2001).

            Lt Gen Ackbal awards include the Excellent Service Award, three times.  They were in 1991, when he was a flying instructor with the rank of Captain at the RMAF Alor Setar; in 1997, when he was the chief officer of No.19 Squadron at the Kuantan Air Base; and in 2003, as Director of the Planning and Development Division at the RMAF Headquarters. Also, in 2006 he received the national-level Malidur Rasul award (conferred to deserving recipients in conjunction with the observance of the birthday of Prophet Muhammad) from His Majesty the Yang DiPertuan Agong (Paramount Ruler). Besides that he was also conferred with several awards and Orders of Decoration at the state and federal levels as an appreciation for his services to the RMAF, nation and race. The honorary awards bestowed on him are: D.S.A P, D.I.M.P, P.A.T., S.A.P., S.M.P., K.A.T., A.M.N., A.P.P. and P.P.A.

In his spare time, Lt Gen Ackbal enjoys angling, photography, reading, and working on automobiles.  Lt Gen Ackbal is married to Datin Norainy binti Sahar Alam and they have four children, three boys and one girl.

Updated on 3 Feb 17