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Military


Air Force

The air force is one of the main components of the Guinean armed forces. Under the command of Colonel Chief of Staff, the Air Force was established on 17th March 1967. But already in 1959, airmen joined on the sailboat SEDOV base TALIN in Russia there follow a pilot training. In 1967, the army of the Guinean air flying on YAK 18 aircraft, transport aircraft AN 2 and MI 4 helicopters.

In 1975 little information was available regarding the air force apart from what could be surmised from equipment inventories and the sporadic bits and pieces gleaned from government documents and media releases. According to the inventory attributed to the Guinean air force by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, its mission apparently consisted of providing air support to ground forces, aerial defense of national territory, and aerial resupply and transport services.

In addition to a squadron of Soviet-built jet fighters of mid-1950s vintage, the air force had in its aircraft inventory a few Soviet trainers of a simila- but older design and several Czechoslovak advanced trainers, all of which had a potential for serving as ground attack aircraft. In addition it had several Soviet piston-engine trainers and Soviet light transports. Two 75-passenger Soviet turboprop transports were variously reported as belonging to the air force or to Air Guinea. The civil airline had a small number of other Soviet light and medium transport aircraft that, given the close links between the airline and the air force, could be used for military missions if needed. Several Soviet helicopters were also available.

The air force was totally dependent upon Soviet assistance for logistics and training and upon Soviet personnel for aircraft maintenance. There were apparently more than enough Guinean pilots for the limited number of aircraft, although all lacked combat experience. Units of the air force were based primarily at Conakry -Gbessia airport, but some may have been dispersed to a second jet-capable airfield built near Labe by Cuban engineers in 1973.

The Air Force must ensure many missions:

  • ensure security of airspace,
  • ensuring the coverage and support of the ground troops,
  • participating in the operational defense of the territory,
  • participate in the defense of the countries with which Guinea has agreements and defense obligations,
  • participate in many service missions at the national and international levels.

To accomplish these missions, the Air Force provides:

  • a main air base in Conakry,
  • secondary air bases across the four natural regions of the country,

With fighters from the former Soviet Union origin, the army of the Guinean air also has lighter tactical capabilities and adapted to the African theater:

  • fire support capability (squadron of MI 24 combat helicopters, squadron MD 500)
  • carrying capacity (MI 8).

The Guinean air force also has extensive experience of external intervention and has specially trained staff.

On September 28, 2016, in the framework of bilateral military cooperation with the Republic of Guinea, France ceded a helicopter Puma Guinean Armed Forces (GAF) The transfer ceremony was held on the site of the 9 th Support Battalion In Montauban, in the presence of the Guinean Defense Attach in France, the Intendant General Aboubacar Biro Conde. This cession is part of the Franco-Guinean military cooperation and, more broadly, of the support provided by France to the African peacekeeping capacity-building process (RECAMP). It also aims to accompany the Republic of Guinea in the consolidation of its armed forces, with a view to strengthening its capacity to exercise its own security.

The Puma helicopter ceded by France will contribute to the completion of the air mobility capabilities of the FAG, in particular in the field of medical evacuation and transport of troops. This transfer, carried out at the request of the Guineans, strengthens bilateral ties with the Guinean Armed Forces (FAG), as regularly organized by the French Elements in Senegal (EFS). Since the beginning of 2016, 226 military personnel have been trained and 7 operational training detachments have been made, contributing in fact to the operational readiness of the Guinean battalions engaged in Mali in the framework of MINUSMA.

On 09 December 2009, CNDD Interim President Sekouba Konate toured several military bases in Conakry and spoke to crowds of troops in Camp Alpha Yaya and the Guinean Air Force base. Konate was accompanied by all the chiefs of staff of the Guinean military, as well as Secretary General of the Presidency Keletigui Faro and Minister of Presidential Security Claude Pivi. Konate's address at the Guinean Air Force base was televised and held in front of a large assembly of military from all branches of the armed services.

Interestingly, in his televised address at the Air Force base, Konate trumpeted the good conduct of the Air Force in comparison to their comrade-in-arms in Camp Alpha Yaya (who are viewed as responsible for September 28 killings). He said that discipline and control have been declining for too long among the armed forces, and that "a soldier who is not well trained is a criminal." Konate concluded his address by promising four priorities for improvement: reconstruction of military barracks, a focus on training, purchasing new equipment, and reinforcing discipline and hierarchy within the armed forces.





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