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Bolivia Air Force - History

The origin of the Bolivian Air Force dates to 1913, when the creation of a school of Military aviation was already projected. The Presidency of Ismael Montes in 1916, sanctioned an Act with the same purpose. At last on 12 October 1923, during the Presidency of Dr. Bautista Saavedra, by Supreme Decree of 7 of September, the School of Military Aviation was formed. Also, during all these years, the different Governments sent to army officers to study piloting at several countries of Europe and America.

However since 1913 in Boliva - particularly in peace - that was lived euphoric era of the flight in 1903 in Kitty Hawk iniciarian the brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright, and there were a series of unsuccessful attempts to lift flight to more than 3800 meters of height due mainly to the low power engine that equipped the prototypes of the era.The high altitude at which are the main cities and the number of failed attempts at flight, had assigned to this mythical characters, which made think of the impossibility of performing them, reason why the first flight conducted in 1920 in the capital, was surrounded by a curiosity and expectation never experienced until then and the people were amazed, when the Donald Hudson, sailed for the first time Bolivian heaven with his triplane Curtiss Wasp 500 HP.

In subsequent years to its creation, the military school deployed great activity, not only in the training of new pilots and the empowerment of new tracks to the length and breadth of the country, but even with limited features aircraft, successful air raids were made to several neighboring countries.

In 1932 during the war with Paraguay, aviation as a weapon dependent of the army attended the campaign with Vickers Scout, Curtiss Hawk fighter aircraft and observation and bombardment Curtiss Osprey, who had a brilliant performance, excelling first air combat in South America.

With the exception of the time of the Chaco War in which military aviation depended on command in campaign and having as second authority to the Inspector of aviation; on September 18, 1936 created the Inspectorate general of aviation as supreme body of the military aviation, later the year 1945 the highest Air Agency in the country was the General Directorate of Aeronautics, dependent on the Ministry of defence and it formed part, both the civil and military aviation.Within the process of modernization and restructuring, on January 7, 1953, was created the Chief of staff of aviation and on May 8 of the same year the Undersecretary of Aeronautics, hierarchy so aviation controls military; but it remained a weapon of the army, at the same time organized the largest State with four sections.

The paramount importance that played military aviation; its vegetative growth, its technical training and the historic role as air power of the nation, made essential their nesting and independence at the air force, and was in consideration of these circumstances that on 26 September 1957, air force, giving it a new organizational structure was established by Supreme Decree N 04743, as also acknowledged its autonomous character; by constituting a technical and vocational upper body for the exercise of air command; so are you yield a conformity parallel to the army, cosntituida by the Comandode the air force, a higher status and their respective administrative departments of advice; an organization that has been maintaining until today with slight modifications.

At present the FAB, in addition to fulfilling the duties assigned to the one policy of the State has the great mission of backbone of the country, linking the most remote places of the territory with the centres of production, consumption and demographically more important, to through military air transport (TAM) daunting work, especially considering that Bolivia is a country with an underdeveloped road system and capricious geographical conformation.

Finally and in view to aeronautics in Bolivia, turns - by force of its dynamics and the geographical conditions of the country - in the most appropriate means to further development and national integration, as well as its universal projection; on October 9, 1980 is created the Ministry of Aeronautics, which has since brought together the components of the air, formerly dispersed; giving him the necessary cohesion and a high sense of unity, until 1990 when it was suppressed.This aspect and the constant as strong support provided to the neediest populations, through a vigorous and effective plan of civic action, have given to the BOLIVIAN air force, a place of privilege within the nationality.

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Page last modified: 19-12-2012 19:54:05 ZULU