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Somali Air Force

The Somali Air Force (SAF; Somali: Ciidamada Cirka Soomaaliyeed, Osmanya: 𐒋𐒕𐒆𐒖𐒑𐒖𐒆𐒖 π’‹π’˜π’‡π’π’– π’ˆπ’π’‘π’›π’π’˜π’•π’œπ’†, CCS; Arabic:Ψ§Ω„Ω‚ΩˆΨ§Ψͺ Ψ§Ω„Ψ¬ΩˆΩŠΨ© Ψ§Ω„Ψ΅ΩˆΩ…Ψ§Ω„ΩŠΨ©, Al-QΕ«wāt al-GawwΔ«yΓ€ as-αΉ’Ε«mālΔ«yΓ€) is the air force of Somalia. The Somali Aeronautical Corps (SAC) was the name of the Somali Air Force during the pre-independence (1954–1960) period. After 1960, when Somalia gained independence, the name changed to the Somali Air Force. SAF principal organizer and the first Somalia pilot Ali Matan Hashi became the founder as well as the Chief of SAF. The SAF at one point had the strongest airstrike capability in the Horn of Africa. By the time Siad Barre fled Mogadishu in 1991, the air force had dissolved. The SAF headquarters was technically reopened in 2015.

Somali Air Force
Ciidamada Cirka Soomaaliyeed
Coat of arms of the Somali Air Force
Founded1954; 67 years ago (1954)
CountrySomalia
TypeAir force
RoleAerial warfare
Part ofSomali Armed Forces
Garrison/HQAfsione, Mogadishu
Motto(s)Somali: Isku Tiirsada
"Lean Together"
Colours
Engagements
Commanders
Commander-in-ChiefPresident Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed
Chief of the Armed ForcesBrigadier General Odowaa Yusuf Rageh
Chief of the Air ForceBrigadier General Mohamud Sheikh Ali
Notable
commanders
Brigadier General Ali Matan Hashi
Insignia
Roundel
Fin Flash

Contents

Following an agreement signed between the Somali and Italian governments in 1962, Somali airmen began a training regimen in Italy with the assistance of Italian technical staff and pilots. Over the same period, fifty Somali cadets also commenced training in Soviet Union as jet aircraft pilots, later to be joined by more than two hundred of the nation's elite NCOs and officers for general military training. Most of these personnel then returned to Somalia with the skills and knowledge that they had acquired abroad.

The Corpo Aeronautico della Somalia was established in the 1950s, and was at first equipped with a small number of Western aircraft, including two Douglas C-47 Skytrains, eight Douglas C-53 Skytrooper Dakota paratroop variants, two Beech C-45 Expeditors for transport tasks, two North American T-6 Texans (H model), two Stinson L-5 Sentinels, and six North American P-51 Mustangs used as fighter aircraft. However, all the surviving Mustangs were returned to Italy before Somalia gained its independence in June 1960. The Aeronautical Corps was officially renamed as the Somali Air Force in December 1960. Two Gomhouria light aircraft soon arrived from Egypt, and then later eight Piaggio P.148 trainers were donated by Italy in 1962.

On 15 October 1969, while paying a visit to the northern town of Las Anod, Somalia's then President Abdirashid Ali Shermarke was shot dead by one of his bodyguards. His assassination was quickly followed by a military coup d'Γ©tat on October 21, 1969 (the day after his funeral), in which the Somali Army seized power without encountering armed opposition β€” essentially a bloodless takeover. The putsch was spearheaded by Major General Mohamed Siad Barre, who at the time commanded the army. Barre then proclaimed Somalia to be a socialist state, and rapid modernization programs soon followed suit. Numerous Somali airmen were subsequently sent to train abroad in countries such as the United States, Italy, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom. After their training, many of these men went on to become the nation's leading instructors and fighter pilots. Fifty Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 "Frescos" were donated by the Soviets, while 29 MiG-21MFs were purchased by the Somali government.

Asli Hassan Abade was the first female pilot in the Somali Air Force. She received training on single prop aircraft, and later earned a scholarship to study at the United States Air Force Academy.

In July 1975, the International Institute for Strategic Studies estimated that the Air Force had three Ilyushin Il-28 "Beagle" bombers (confirmed many years later by Cooper 2015), two fighter-ground attack squadrons with two Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 "Fagot," and a total of 23 MiG-17 "Fresco" and MiG-19 "Farmer;" a fighter squadron with 24 Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 "Fishbed;" a transport squadron flying three Antonov An-2, and three Antonov An-24/26; a helicopter squadron with Mil Mi-2s, Mi-4s and Mil Mi-8s; and reported other survivors of the early years including three C-47s, one C-45, and six Italian Piaggio P.148s.

Ogaden War (1977–1978)

In July 1977, the Ogaden War broke out after Siad Barre's government sought to incorporate the predominantly Somali-inhabited Ogaden region in Ethiopia into a pan-Somali Greater Somalia. The Somali Armed Forces invaded the Ogaden and was successful at first, capturing most of the territory. The tide began to turn with the Soviet Union's sudden shift of support to Ethiopia, followed by almost the entire communist world siding with the latter. The Soviets halted their previous supplies to Barre's regime and increased the distribution of aid, weapons, and training to Ethiopia's newly-communist Derg regime. They also brought in around 15,000 Cuban troops to assist the Ethiopian military. By 1978, the Somali troops were pushed out of the Ogaden.

Before the war Somalia acquired four Ilyushin Il-28 "Beagle" bombers. Flown by MiG-17 pilots, the aircraft had the potential to be decisive back when they first arrived. Only three Il-28s remained in service by the time the war. They supported the initial invasion, but were fairly ineffective because only high-altitude bombing runs were used. Once the Ethiopian Air Force began to contest the skies, the Il-28s were withdrawn from combat, remaining at their airfields until Ethiopian air strikes took them out. None of the Il-28s survived the war.

Status in 1980-1981

Nelson et al. stated in 1980 that sources indicated that of approximately twenty-one Somali combat aircraft, less than a half dozen β€” MiGβ€”17s and MiGβ€”21s β€” were kept operational by Pakistani mechanics. Six Italian single-engine SIAI Marchetti SFβ€”260W trainer/tactical support aircraft delivered in late 1979 were reportedly grounded in 1980 because of a lack of 110-octane gasoline in Somalia for the piston-engined aircraft. It was reported that the shortage of combat aircraft was being redressed in 1981 when that thirty Chinese Shenyang J-6 fighter-bombers were beginning to arrive.

The Library of Congress Country Studies wrote in 1992-93 that: "..there [were] numerous unconfirmed reports of Somali-South African military cooperation. The relationship supposedly began on December 18, 1984, when South African foreign minister Roelof "Pik" Botha visited Somalia and conducted discussions with Siad Barre. The two leaders reportedly signed a secret communique granting South African Airways landing rights in Somalia and the South African navy access to the ports of Chisimayu and Berbera. It was said that Somalia also agreed to sell South Africa eight MiG-21 fighters. In exchange.. South Africa supposedly arranged to ship spare parts and ammunition for the Hawker Hunter aircraft supplied to Somalia by the United Arab Emirates, and to be responsible for the salaries of ten former Rhodesian Air Force pilots who already were in Somalia helping to train Somali pilots and technicians and flying combat missions in the north."

On 28 October 1985 a Somali MiG-21 crashed.

Civil war and Issaq genocide

Main article: Isaaq genocide
Up to 90% of Hargeisa (2nd largest city of the Somali Republic) was destroyed

By 1987-88 the armed forces were fragmenting, as were wider state structures, and multiple insurgencies were growing to the point of being named the Somali Civil War.

In response to Somali National Movement (predominantly Issaq clan) attacks on the cities of Hargeisa and Burao, Barre responded by ordering the "shelling and aerial bombardment of the major cities in the northwest and the systematic destruction of Isaaq dwellings, settlements and water points".

This aimed to explicitly hande the "Isaaq problem" whereby the Siad Barre regime specifically targeted civilian members of the Isaaq clan, especially in the cities of Hargeisa and Burco and to that end employed the use of indiscriminate artillery shelling and aerial bombardment against civilian populations belonging to the Isaaq clan.

Atrocities committed by the Barre's forces against the Isaaqs included the machine gunning from aircraft (strafing) of fleeing refugees until they reached safety at the Ethiopian borders.

South African pilots pose for a picture before takeoff on another sortie in Hargeisa, 1988

Genocide scholar Adam Jones also discusses this particular aspect of the Siad Barre's campaign against the Isaaq:

In two months, from May to July 1988, between 50,000 and 100,000 people were massacred by the regime's forces. By then, any surviving urban Isaaks – that is to say, hundreds of thousands of members of the main northern clan community – had fled across the border into Ethiopia. They were pursued along the way by British-made fighter-bombers piloted by mercenary South African and ex-Rhodesian pilots, paid $2,000 per sortie.

Despite the government's continued refusal to grant foreigner access to the north to report on the situation, The New York Times reported that Isaaq refugees had been strafed:

Western diplomats here said they believed that the fighting in Somalia.. was continuing unabated. More than 10,000 people were killed in the first month after the conflict began in late May, according to reports reaching diplomats here. The Somali Government has bombed towns and strafed fleeing residents and used artillery indiscriminately, according to the officials.

Dissolution

Metz et al. 1993 wrote that "[i]n 1990 the SAF was organized into three fighter ground-attack squadrons equipped with J-6 and Hawker Hunter aircraft; three fighter squadrons equipped with MiG-21MF and MiG-17 aircraft; a counterinsurgency squadron equipped with SF-260W aircraft; a transport squadron equipped with An-2, An-24, An-26, BN-2, C-212, and G-222 aircraft; and a helicopter squadron equipped with Mi-4, Mi-8, and Agusta-Bell aircraft" and had a number of training aircraft, in addition. The IISS Military Balance for 1990-91 estimated that the Air Force had 2,500 personnel and a total of 56 combat aircraft: they list four Hunters, 10 MiG-17s, 22 J-6s, eight MiG-21MFs, six SF-260Ws, and a single Hawker Hunter FR.76 reconnaissance aircraft (p. 117).

By the time President Siad Barre fled the capital Mogadishu for his home region of Gedo in January 1991, the air force had effectively dissolved amid the Somali Civil War. In 1993, eight MiG-21 (six MiG-21MF and two MiG-21UM), three MiG-15UTI, one SF-260W and unknown MiG-17 wrecks were seen at Mogadishu airport. Three Hawker Hunters, serialled 704, 705, and 711, were seen at Baidoa Airport by Australian forces during the UNOSOM II intervention, but were later removed.

Relaunch in the 2010s

During the decades of the Somali Civil War, former members of Barre's vanished air force maintained contact with each other. On October 29, 2012, 40 senior Somali National Army and Air Force officers participated in the three-day Improving Understanding and Compliance with International Humanitarian Law (IHL) workshop in Djibouti, organized by AMISOM. In October 2014, Somali Air Force cadets underwent additional training in Turkey.

On 1 July 2015, the Somali Defence Minister Abdulkadir Sheikh Dini reopened the headquarters of the Somali Air Force. Located in Afisone, Mogadishu, the move may help re-establish the air force after 25 years of civil war.

The air force is not currently operational and has no aircraft. It is composed of approximately 170 personnel (40-50 officers ranging from second lieutenant to colonel and 120-130 non-commissioned officers and airmen). Turkey is delivering residential training to a group of young Somali air force personnel and intends to support the development of an aviation capability. The potential cumulative cost to develop a Somali air arm again, over 10 years would be $50 million.

On 6 March 2020, Brigadier General Sheikh Ali met with Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan in Islamabad to discuss cooperation efforts and bilateral ties between the Somali Air Force and the Pakistani Air Force.

Somali Air Force servicemen wore green flight suits with shoulderboards indicating their rank alongside a visored pilot mask and helmet when actively flying. The Air Force would traditionally wear a sky blue (for summer) or navy blue service shirt, navy blue trousers, beret or sidecap, shoulderboards and black boots however a more formal uniform would consist of a navy blue peaked cap, blazer, trousers, black formal shoes and tie and sky blue shirt, Air Force servicemen would wear ribbons on their left breast as well as Air Force insignia.

Nelson et al. estimated the Somali Air Force's aircraft in 1981 as:

Some derelict Somali An-26s in Kenya
Type Description Country of Manufacture Inventory Notes
Combat aircraft
MiG-17 "Fresco" fighter-bomber Soviet Union 27
MiG-21MF "Fishbed J" MiG-21bis Fishbed L Mach 2.1 fighter-bomber with AA-2 Atoll anti-aircraft missiles 9 or 29
Shenyang J-6 Mach 1.3 fighter-bomber China 30
Aermacchi SF.260W Single-engine light attack craft Italy 6
Hawker Hunter ground attack fighter/reconnaissance/trainer aircraft United Kingdom 8
Transport aircraft
Antonov An-2 "Colt" Single-engine light transport Soviet Union 3
An-24/-26 Twin-turboprop transport
Douglas C-47 Skytrain Twin-engine transport United States
C-45 Twin-engine light transport 1
Aeritalia G.222 Twin-turboprop transport Italy 4
Helicopters
Mil Mi-4 "Hound" Twelve-seat transport Soviet Union 4
Mil Mi-8 "Hip" Twin-engine medium transport 8
AB-204 General utility helicopter United States /Italy 1
AB-212 4
Trainers
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15UTI "Fagot" Two-seat advanced jet trainer Soviet Union 4
MiG-21UM Mongol B Two-seat advanced jet trainer 20
Yakovlev Yak-11 "Moose" Single-engine, two-seat advanced trainer Soviet Union
Piaggio P.148 Single-engine, two-seat primary trainer Italy 6
SIAI-Marchetti SM.1019 Single-engine training, observation, and light attack aircraft

The SAF purchased two Piaggio P.166-DL3 utility aircraft and two P.166-DL3/MAR maritime patrol aircraft in 1980.

An Air Defence Command - seemingly a fourth service - was formed by the late 1980s. In 1987, according to U.S. DIA records, it was 3,500 strong, headquartered at Mogadishu, with seven AA gun/SAM brigades and one radar brigade. Eight years later, the Somali Air Defence Force operated most of the surface-to-air missiles. As of 1 June 1989, the IISS also estimated that Somali surface-to-air defence equipment included 40 SA-2 Guideline missiles (operational status uncertain), 10 SA-3 Goa, and 20 SA-7 surface-to-air missiles.

Ranks of the Somali Air Force

Officers
Rank group General/flag officers Field/senior officers Junior officers Officer cadet
Somali Air Force
Lieutenant general
Sareeye Guud
Major general
Sareeye Gaas
Brigadier General
Sareeye Guuto
Colonel
Gashaanle Sare
Lieutenant colonel
Gashaanle Dhexe
Major
Gashaanle
Captain
Dhamme
First Lieutenant
Laba XΓ­dΓ­gle
Second Lieutenant
XΓ­dΓ­gle
Enlisted
Rank group Senior NCOs Junior NCOs Enlisted
Somali Air Force
No insignia
Chief Warrant Officer
Musharax Sarkaal
Warrant Officer Class 1
Sadex XarΓ­gle
Warrant Officer Class 2
Laba XarΓ­gle
Warrant Officer Class 3
XarΓ­gle
Sergeant
Sadex AlΓ­fle
Corporal
Laba AlΓ­fle
Lance Corporal
AlΓ­fle
Aircraftman
Dable
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Somali Air Force
Somali Air Force Article Talk Language Watch Edit The Somali Air Force SAF Somali Ciidamada Cirka Soomaaliyeed Osmanya 𐒋𐒕𐒆𐒖𐒑𐒖𐒆𐒖 π’‹π’˜π’‡π’π’– π’ˆπ’π’‘π’›π’π’˜π’•π’œπ’† CCS Arabic Ψ§Ω„Ω‚ΩˆΨ§Ψͺ Ψ§Ω„Ψ¬ΩˆΩŠΨ© Ψ§Ω„Ψ΅ΩˆΩ…Ψ§Ω„ΩŠΨ© Al Quwat al Gawwiya as αΉ’umaliya is the air force of Somalia The Somali Aeronautical Corps SAC was the name of the Somali Air Force during the pre independence 1954 1960 period After 1960 when Somalia gained independence the name changed to the Somali Air Force SAF principal organizer and the first Somalia pilot Ali Matan Hashi became the founder as well as the Chief of SAF 1 The SAF at one point had the strongest airstrike capability in the Horn of Africa 2 By the time Siad Barre fled Mogadishu in 1991 the air force had dissolved The SAF headquarters was technically reopened in 2015 3 Somali Air ForceCiidamada Cirka SoomaaliyeedCoat of arms of the Somali Air ForceFounded1954 67 years ago 1954 Country SomaliaTypeAir forceRoleAerial warfarePart ofSomali Armed ForcesGarrison HQAfsione MogadishuMotto s Somali Isku Tiirsada Lean Together Colours Engagements1964 Ethiopian Somali Border War Shifta War Ogaden War Somaliland War of Independence 1982 Ethiopian Somali Border War Isaaq genocide Somali Civil WarCommandersCommander in ChiefPresident Mohamed Abdullahi MohamedChief of the Armed ForcesBrigadier General Odowaa Yusuf RagehChief of the Air ForceBrigadier General Mohamud Sheikh AliNotable commandersBrigadier General Ali Matan HashiInsigniaRoundelFin Flash Contents 1 History 1 1 Ogaden War 1977 1978 1 2 Status in 1980 1981 1 3 Civil war and Issaq genocide 1 4 Dissolution 1 5 Relaunch in the 2010s 2 Equipment 2 1 Ranks of the Somali Air Force 3 See also 4 Notes 5 References 6 External linksHistory EditFollowing an agreement signed between the Somali and Italian governments in 1962 Somali airmen began a training regimen in Italy with the assistance of Italian technical staff and pilots 4 Over the same period fifty Somali cadets also commenced training in Soviet Union as jet aircraft pilots later to be joined by more than two hundred of the nation s elite NCOs and officers for general military training 5 Most of these personnel then returned to Somalia with the skills and knowledge that they had acquired abroad The Corpo Aeronautico della Somalia was established in the 1950s and was at first equipped with a small number of Western aircraft including two Douglas C 47 Skytrains eight Douglas C 53 Skytrooper Dakota paratroop variants two Beech C 45 Expeditors for transport tasks two North American T 6 Texans H model two Stinson L 5 Sentinels and six North American P 51 Mustangs used as fighter aircraft However all the surviving Mustangs were returned to Italy before Somalia gained its independence in June 1960 6 The Aeronautical Corps was officially renamed as the Somali Air Force in December 1960 7 Two Gomhouria light aircraft soon arrived from Egypt and then later eight Piaggio P 148 trainers were donated by Italy in 1962 7 On 15 October 1969 while paying a visit to the northern town of Las Anod Somalia s then President Abdirashid Ali Shermarke was shot dead by one of his bodyguards His assassination was quickly followed by a military coup d etat on October 21 1969 the day after his funeral in which the Somali Army seized power without encountering armed opposition essentially a bloodless takeover The putsch was spearheaded by Major General Mohamed Siad Barre who at the time commanded the army 8 Barre then proclaimed Somalia to be a socialist state and rapid modernization programs soon followed suit Numerous Somali airmen were subsequently sent to train abroad in countries such as the United States Italy the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom After their training many of these men went on to become the nation s leading instructors and fighter pilots Fifty Mikoyan Gurevich MiG 17 Frescos were donated by the Soviets while 29 MiG 21MFs were purchased by the Somali government Asli Hassan Abade was the first female pilot in the Somali Air Force She received training on single prop aircraft and later earned a scholarship to study at the United States Air Force Academy In July 1975 the International Institute for Strategic Studies estimated that the Air Force had three Ilyushin Il 28 Beagle bombers confirmed many years later by Cooper 2015 two fighter ground attack squadrons with two Mikoyan Gurevich MiG 15 Fagot and a total of 23 MiG 17 Fresco and MiG 19 Farmer a fighter squadron with 24 Mikoyan Gurevich MiG 21 Fishbed a transport squadron flying three Antonov An 2 and three Antonov An 24 26 a helicopter squadron with Mil Mi 2s Mi 4s and Mil Mi 8s and reported other survivors of the early years including three C 47s one C 45 and six Italian Piaggio P 148s 9 Ogaden War 1977 1978 Edit In July 1977 the Ogaden War broke out after Siad Barre s government sought to incorporate the predominantly Somali inhabited Ogaden region in Ethiopia into a pan Somali Greater Somalia 10 The Somali Armed Forces invaded the Ogaden and was successful at first capturing most of the territory The tide began to turn with the Soviet Union s sudden shift of support to Ethiopia followed by almost the entire communist world siding with the latter The Soviets halted their previous supplies to Barre s regime and increased the distribution of aid weapons and training to Ethiopia s newly communist Derg regime They also brought in around 15 000 Cuban troops to assist the Ethiopian military By 1978 the Somali troops were pushed out of the Ogaden Before the war Somalia acquired four Ilyushin Il 28 Beagle bombers Flown by MiG 17 pilots the aircraft had the potential to be decisive back when they first arrived Only three Il 28s remained in service by the time the war 11 They supported the initial invasion but were fairly ineffective because only high altitude bombing runs were used Once the Ethiopian Air Force began to contest the skies the Il 28s were withdrawn from combat remaining at their airfields until Ethiopian air strikes took them out None of the Il 28s survived the war Status in 1980 1981 Edit Nelson et al stated in 1980 that sources indicated that of approximately twenty one Somali combat aircraft less than a half dozen MiG 17s and MiG 21s were kept operational by Pakistani mechanics 12 Six Italian single engine SIAI Marchetti SF 260W trainer tactical support aircraft delivered in late 1979 were reportedly grounded in 1980 because of a lack of 110 octane gasoline in Somalia for the piston engined aircraft It was reported that the shortage of combat aircraft was being redressed in 1981 when that thirty Chinese Shenyang J 6 fighter bombers were beginning to arrive The Library of Congress Country Studies wrote in 1992 93 that there were numerous unconfirmed reports of Somali South African military cooperation The relationship supposedly began on December 18 1984 when South African foreign minister Roelof Pik Botha visited Somalia and conducted discussions with Siad Barre The two leaders reportedly signed a secret communique granting South African Airways landing rights in Somalia and the South African navy access to the ports of Chisimayu and Berbera It was said that Somalia also agreed to sell South Africa eight MiG 21 fighters In exchange South Africa supposedly arranged to ship spare parts and ammunition for the Hawker Hunter aircraft supplied to Somalia by the United Arab Emirates and to be responsible for the salaries of ten former Rhodesian Air Force pilots who already were in Somalia helping to train Somali pilots and technicians and flying combat missions in the north 13 On 28 October 1985 a Somali MiG 21 crashed 14 Civil war and Issaq genocide Edit Main article Isaaq genocide Up to 90 of Hargeisa 2nd largest city of the Somali Republic was destroyed By 1987 88 the armed forces were fragmenting as were wider state structures and multiple insurgencies were growing to the point of being named the Somali Civil War 15 In response to Somali National Movement predominantly Issaq clan attacks on the cities of Hargeisa and Burao Barre responded by ordering the shelling and aerial bombardment of the major cities in the northwest and the systematic destruction of Isaaq dwellings settlements and water points 16 This aimed to explicitly hande the Isaaq problem whereby the Siad Barre regime specifically targeted civilian members of the Isaaq clan 17 especially in the cities of Hargeisa and Burco and to that end employed the use of indiscriminate artillery shelling and aerial bombardment against civilian populations belonging to the Isaaq clan 18 19 Atrocities committed by the Barre s forces against the Isaaqs included the machine gunning from aircraft strafing of fleeing refugees until they reached safety at the Ethiopian borders 20 South African pilots pose for a picture before takeoff on another sortie in Hargeisa 1988 Genocide scholar Adam Jones also discusses this particular aspect of the Siad Barre s campaign against the Isaaq In two months from May to July 1988 between 50 000 and 100 000 people were massacred by the regime s forces By then any surviving urban Isaaks that is to say hundreds of thousands of members of the main northern clan community had fled across the border into Ethiopia They were pursued along the way by British made fighter bombers piloted by mercenary South African and ex Rhodesian pilots paid 2 000 per sortie 21 Despite the government s continued refusal to grant foreigner access to the north to report on the situation 22 The New York Times reported that Isaaq refugees had been strafed Western diplomats here said they believed that the fighting in Somalia was continuing unabated More than 10 000 people were killed in the first month after the conflict began in late May according to reports reaching diplomats here The Somali Government has bombed towns and strafed fleeing residents and used artillery indiscriminately according to the officials 23 Dissolution Edit Metz et al 1993 wrote that i n 1990 the SAF was organized into three fighter ground attack squadrons equipped with J 6 and Hawker Hunter aircraft three fighter squadrons equipped with MiG 21MF and MiG 17 aircraft a counterinsurgency squadron equipped with SF 260W aircraft a transport squadron equipped with An 2 An 24 An 26 BN 2 C 212 and G 222 aircraft and a helicopter squadron equipped with Mi 4 Mi 8 and Agusta Bell aircraft and had a number of training aircraft in addition 24 The IISS Military Balance for 1990 91 estimated that the Air Force had 2 500 personnel and a total of 56 combat aircraft they list four Hunters 10 MiG 17s 22 J 6s eight MiG 21MFs six SF 260Ws and a single Hawker Hunter FR 76 reconnaissance aircraft p 117 By the time President Siad Barre fled the capital Mogadishu for his home region of Gedo in January 1991 the air force had effectively dissolved amid the Somali Civil War In 1993 eight MiG 21 six MiG 21MF and two MiG 21UM three MiG 15UTI one SF 260W and unknown MiG 17 wrecks were seen at Mogadishu airport 25 26 Three Hawker Hunters serialled 704 705 and 711 were seen at Baidoa Airport by Australian forces during the UNOSOM II intervention but were later removed 27 Relaunch in the 2010s Edit During the decades of the Somali Civil War former members of Barre s vanished air force maintained contact with each other On October 29 2012 40 senior Somali National Army and Air Force officers participated in the three day Improving Understanding and Compliance with International Humanitarian Law IHL workshop in Djibouti organized by AMISOM 28 In October 2014 Somali Air Force cadets underwent additional training in Turkey 29 On 1 July 2015 the Somali Defence Minister Abdulkadir Sheikh Dini reopened the headquarters of the Somali Air Force Located in Afisone Mogadishu the move may help re establish the air force after 25 years of civil war 3 The air force is not currently operational and has no aircraft It is composed of approximately 170 personnel 40 50 officers ranging from second lieutenant to colonel and 120 130 non commissioned officers and airmen Turkey is delivering residential training to a group of young Somali air force personnel and intends to support the development of an aviation capability The potential cumulative cost to develop a Somali air arm again over 10 years would be 50 million 30 On 6 March 2020 Brigadier General Sheikh Ali met with Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan in Islamabad to discuss cooperation efforts and bilateral ties between the Somali Air Force and the Pakistani Air Force 31 32 Equipment EditSomali Air Force servicemen wore green flight suits with shoulderboards indicating their rank alongside a visored pilot mask and helmet when actively flying The Air Force would traditionally wear a sky blue for summer or navy blue service shirt navy blue trousers beret or sidecap shoulderboards and black boots 33 however a more formal uniform would consist of a navy blue peaked cap blazer trousers black formal shoes and tie and sky blue shirt Air Force servicemen would wear ribbons on their left breast as well as Air Force insignia 34 Nelson et al estimated the Somali Air Force s aircraft in 1981 as Some derelict Somali An 26s in Kenya Type Description Country of Manufacture Inventory NotesCombat aircraftMiG 17 Fresco fighter bomber Soviet Union 27 35 MiG 21MF Fishbed J MiG 21bis Fishbed L Mach 2 1 fighter bomber with AA 2 Atoll anti aircraft missiles 9 14 or 29Shenyang J 6 Mach 1 3 fighter bomber China 30Aermacchi SF 260W Single engine light attack craft Italy 6Hawker Hunter ground attack fighter reconnaissance trainer aircraft United Kingdom 8Transport aircraftAntonov An 2 Colt Single engine light transport Soviet Union 3An 24 26 Twin turboprop transportDouglas C 47 Skytrain Twin engine transport United StatesC 45 Twin engine light transport 1Aeritalia G 222 Twin turboprop transport Italy 4HelicoptersMil Mi 4 Hound Twelve seat transport Soviet Union 4Mil Mi 8 Hip Twin engine medium transport 8AB 204 General utility helicopter United States Italy 1AB 212 4TrainersMikoyan Gurevich MiG 15UTI Fagot Two seat advanced jet trainer Soviet Union 4MiG 21UM Mongol B Two seat advanced jet trainer 20Yakovlev Yak 11 Moose Single engine two seat advanced trainer Soviet UnionPiaggio P 148 Single engine two seat primary trainer Italy 6SIAI Marchetti SM 1019 Single engine training observation and light attack aircraft The SAF purchased two Piaggio P 166 DL3 utility aircraft and two P 166 DL3 MAR maritime patrol aircraft in 1980 36 An Air Defence Command seemingly a fourth service was formed by the late 1980s In 1987 according to U S DIA records it was 3 500 strong headquartered at Mogadishu with seven AA gun SAM brigades and one radar brigade 37 Eight years later the Somali Air Defence Force operated most of the surface to air missiles As of 1 June 1989 the IISS also estimated that Somali surface to air defence equipment included 40 SA 2 Guideline missiles operational status uncertain 10 SA 3 Goa and 20 SA 7 surface to air missiles 38 Ranks of the Somali Air Force Edit Main article Military ranks of Somalia OfficersRank group General flag officers Field senior officers Junior officers Officer cadet Somali Air Force 39 vte Lieutenant general Sareeye Guud Major general Sareeye Gaas Brigadier General Sareeye Guuto Colonel Gashaanle Sare Lieutenant colonel Gashaanle Dhexe Major Gashaanle Captain Dhamme First Lieutenant Laba Xidigle Second Lieutenant XidigleEnlistedRank group Senior NCOs Junior NCOs Enlisted Somali Air Force 39 vte No insigniaChief Warrant Officer Musharax Sarkaal Warrant Officer Class 1 Sadex Xarigle Warrant Officer Class 2 Laba Xarigle Warrant Officer Class 3 Xarigle Sergeant Sadex Alifle Corporal Laba Alifle Lance Corporal Alifle Aircraftman DableSee also EditSomali Navy Somali Police Force Somali Custodial CorpsNotes Edit Luigi Pestalozza The Somalian Revolution Editions Afrique Asie Amerique latine 1974 p 27 The Soviet Union in the Horn of Africa the diplomacy of intervention and Disengagement by Robert G Patman p 184 a b Somalia Reopens Air Force Headquarter Goobjoog News 1 July 2015 Archived from the original on 3 July 2015 Retrieved 3 July 2015 Italy Centro di documentazione Italy Servizio delle informazioni Italy documents and notes Volume 14 Centro di documentazione 1965 p 460 John Gordon Stewart Drysdale The Somali dispute Pall Mall Press 1964 Cooper 2015 p 13 a b Cooper 2015 p 14 Mohamed Haji Ingiriis 2017 Who Assassinated the Somali President in October 1969 The Cold War the Clan Connection or the Coup d Etat African Security 10 2 131 154 DOI 10 1080 19392206 2017 1305861 IISS The Military Balance 1975 76 IISS London 1975 p 43 Cooper 2015 Cooper 2015 p 31 Nelson 1982 p 249 Metz 1993 p 213 a b Mikojan MiG 21 Uzytkownicy cz 2 samolotypolskie pl Retrieved 23 May 2020 Robinson 2016 p 241 Richards Rebecca 24 February 2016 Understanding Statebuilding Traditional Governance and the Modern State in Somaliland Routledge ISBN 978 1 317 00466 0 Reinl James Investigating genocide in Somaliland Al Jazeera Archived from the original on 7 May 2017 Retrieved 25 April 2017 Fitzgerald Nina J 1 January 2002 Somalia Issues History and Bibliography Nova Publishers ISBN 978 1 59033 265 8 Geldenhuys p 131 Ghalib Jama Mohamed 1 January 1995 The cost of dictatorship the Somali experience L Barber Press ISBN 978 0 936508 30 6 Jones Adam 23 July 2004 Genocide war crimes and the West history and complicity Zed Books ISBN 978 1 84277 190 7 Lefebvre Jeffrey A 15 January 1992 Arms for the Horn U S Security Policy in Ethiopia and Somalia 1953 1991 University of Pittsburgh Pre ISBN 978 0 8229 7031 6 Times Jane Perlez Special to the New York 13 August 1988 Over 300 000 Somalis Fleeing Civil War Cross into Ethiopia The New York Times ISSN 0362 4331 Archived from the original on 27 April 2017 Retrieved 13 April 2017 Metz 1993 p 205 Wrecked aircraft at the airbase formerly used by the Somalian Aeronautical Corps and now by the Unified Task Force in Somalia awm gov au The Australian War Memorial Retrieved 23 May 2020 The remains of six irreparable Somali Air Force Mig fighter aircraft on the edge of the airport awm gov au The Australian War Memorial 24 March 2020 Retrieved 23 May 2020 Hawker Hunter squadron left in the dessert Aviation HMVF Historic Military Vehicles Forum HMVF Retrieved 23 May 2020 AMISOM offers IHL training to senior officials of the Somali National Forces AMISOM 30 October 2012 Archived from the original on 1 January 2016 Retrieved 23 November 2012 Somali air force cadets in Turkey Somalia Newsroom 23 October 2013 Archived from the original on 3 July 2015 Retrieved 9 May 2015 Somalia Security and Justice Public Expenditure Review PDF World Bank 31 January 2017 Archived PDF from the original on 10 August 2017 Retrieved 20 May 2018 Somali Air Force commander visits Air Headquarters Dailytimes com pk 5 March 2020 Retrieved 23 May 2020 Pakistan offers support to Somalia for military training Somali National News Agency Retrieved 21 June 2021 https secureservercdn net 198 71 233 44 tbo ded myftpupload com wp content uploads taliyaha ciidanka cirka somalia png time 1584553927 https www caasimada net wp content uploads 2020 03 WhatsApp Image 2020 03 04 at 6 44 46 AM jpeg Jan J Safarik Air Aces Home Page Aces safarikovi org Retrieved 23 May 2020 Nicolli 2012 p 89 http www dia mil FOIA FOIA Electronic Reading Room FOIA Reading Room Africa FileID 39704 IISS Military Balance 1989 90 Brassey s for the IISS 1989 113 a b Ehrenreich Frederick 1982 National Security In Nelson Harold N ed Somalia a country study PDF Area Handbook 3rd ed Washington D C Library of Congress p 257 Retrieved 21 October 2021 References EditCooper Tom 19 April 2015 Wings over Ogaden The Ethiopian Somali War 1978 1979 Africa War Solihull Helion ISBN 978 1909982383 Metz Helen 1993 Somalia A Country Study PDF Fourth ed Library of Congress Retrieved 12 July 2019 Research complete May 1992 Nelson Harold 1982 Somalia A Country Study PDF Third ed Washington DC Foreign Area Studies American University Archived from the original PDF on 4 October 2012 Research complete October 1981 Robinson Colin D 2016 Revisiting the rise and fall of the Somali Armed Forces 1960 2012 Defense amp Security Analysis 32 3 237 252 doi 10 1080 14751798 2016 1199122 S2CID 156874430 World Aircraft Information Files Brightstar publishing London File 338 sheet 4 WorldAirForces com Historical Somali AircraftExternal links EditCourt Chick amp Albert Grandolini with Tom Cooper amp Sander Peeters Somalia 1980 1996 Air Combat Information Group September 2 2003 k Planes k Planes Episode 94 Cripple Fight Kplanes tumblr com 26 February 2016 Retrieved 23 May 2020 Somali Hunters https aviation safety net database record php id 19601011 0 Beechcraft missing report 1960 https wikileaks org plusd cables 1975MOGADI01551 b html change of air force chief 1975 Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Somali Air Force amp 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