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Somalia - Air Force

The Somali Air Force (SAF), initially known as the Somali Aeronautical Corps, operated most of its aircraft from bases near Mogadishu and Hargeysa. Its mission was to support ground forces.

Since the Ogaden War, the SAF's performance had been hindered by inadequate equipment, lack of spare parts, and poor maintenance. During the late 1980s, however, the SAF managed to deploy some of its fighter aircraft against rebels in northern Somalia. Some of these aircraft were kept operational by Zimbabwean contract personnel.

In 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 Augusta-Bell aircraft. The SAF also possessed a variety of training aircraft such as the MiG-15UTI, the SF-260W, the Yak-11, and the Cessna. The SAF used Somali Airlines aircraft to ferry troops and supplies to war zones.

None of the squadrons have been operational for some time.

The United Nations Support Office for AMISOM (UNSOA) continued to provide logistics support to AMISOM and the Somali national army during joint operations, as authorized by the Security Council in resolution 2124 (2013). By early 2015 UNSOA faced limitations in its distribution of supplies to frontline troops because the major supply routes remain insecure and sometimes impassable owing to poor road conditions. As a result, sustenance of frontline troops remained reliant on air support at a very high cost. The acquisition of a C-130 aircraft under long-term contract helped UNSOA to increase its capacity to resupply all sectors and to reduce dependence on other missions in the region.

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Page last modified: 03-07-2015 20:06:44 ZULU