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Serbia Air Force and Air Defence (AF&AD)

Air Force and Air Defence (AF&AD) is a branch of the Army that combines branches and services with the organization, structure, weapons and equipment tailored for combat operations against targets in the air space and on land. AF&AD commands, units and facilities are organized on a professional basis. It comprises air force and air defence units of the Serbian Armed Forces, divided into air bases, rocket units, signal units, electronic reconnaissance and engineering units.

The idea of introducing aircraft into the Serbian Armed Forces first emerged in the nineteenth century and was planned to be conducted in 1893, but due to the slow pace of preparation, it was implemented in 1912. Therefore, the Kingdom of Serbia joined the group of the first fifteen countries in the world that introduced aircraft into weapons and created the Air Force, and the first five using it in combat.

Air Force Command, the first air force unit of the Serbian Army was established in Ni in December 1912. It was composed of: Airplane Squadron (section), Balloon Section, Pigeon Post and Hydrogen Station. August 2nd is celebrated as an Aviation Day, which is also a patron saints day of the Air Force Saint Elias. During World War I, members of the Serbian artillery shot down an Austrian plane over Kragujevac on September 30, 1915, the day that King Alexander I determined by decree as the day of antiaircraft artillery. After creation of a new state, the Serbian Air Force was renamed into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (SHS) Air Force.

With the dissolution of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, the Serbian Air Force was formed again in 2006, from parts of AF&AD of the Serbian and Montenegrin Armed Forces, who were on the territory of the Republic of Serbia. At the beginning of its existence, the Air Force and Air Defence of Serbia underwent a process of transformation, in spite of great material and financial difficulties. The Air Force consists of: AF&AD Command, 210th Signal Battalion, 204th Air Base, 98th Air Base, 250th Air Defence Missile Brigade, 126th Early Warning Centre, Department for Control and Protection of Airspace within the Serbia Air Traffic Services Agency Ltd., Institute for Aviation Medicine, Air Force Institute Moma Stanojlovic and the Museum of Yugoslav Air Force.

Air Force Command is an organizational unit of AF&AD of the Serbian Armed Forces, responsible for command, planning, organization, use and building of operational and functional capabilities of units and institutions. It is stationed in the building of the former Yugoslav Air Force and Air Defence Command in Zemun. The Air Force and Air Defence Command consists of: Command, Command Company, Operations Centre and a Military Police Platoon.

Air bases are combined tactical air force units whose primary organizational structure consists of modular units the level of squadron, battalion - division. There are two air bases, whose commands and units are deployed at the airports Batajnica (204th), Ladjevci and Ni (98th). In addition to aviation and helicopter squadrons, air bases also include the units for aviation-technical and technical maintenance, which are designed for servicing aircraft and helicopters in the first and second phase. For the logistic support of the units based at the airports and the attached units, battalions to secure the airport are intended. Training of pilots, cadets-pilots (in 204th Air Base), soldiers and members of air-technical service is carried out in the air bases.

Pilots of the Serbian Armed Forces showed their courage and patriotism during 1999 operations, when they flew to meet far superior enemy, defending the freedom of Serbian skies with their own lives.





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