Argentine Army Aviation
|Direccion de Aviación de Ejército
Argentine Army Aviation
|Active||1912 – present|
Ministry of Defense
|Chief of Staff of the Army||General|
|Chief of AvEjer||Colonel|
The Argentine Army Aviation (Spanish: Comando de Aviación Ejército Argentino, AvEjer) is the army aviation branch of the Argentine Army. Their members have the same rank insignia and titles as the rest of the Army.
Along with its primary role of supporting Army operations, the Army Aviation is highly involved in humanitarian aid missions, emergency relief, medical evacuations and forest firefighting.
Army aircraft with tactical camouflage have adopted high-visibility yellow markings Ejército (Spanish for "Army") in order to encourage the national press to stop referring to them as belonging to the air force.
|This section requires expansion. (April 2014)|
Military aviation in Argentina traces back to the Paraguayan War when on 8 July 1867, Staff Sargeant Roberto A. Chodasiewicz used an Observation balloon during the battle of Humaitá. Since then, the army was the main driving force behind national aeronautical development. The use of enthusiastic students who relied on the selfless support of civil institutions and airclubs, saw the creation of the Military Aviation School at El Palomar in 1912.
The establishment of the Army Aviation Service saw a great expansion of Argentine air power in the 1912–1945 period. The creation of the first aviation units and foundation of Fabrica Militar de Aviones lead to the creation of the Argentine Air Force in 1945, which the Army had given most of its aircraft and installations. The Army retained a number of Cessna and SNJ-4 aircraft for observation and training purposes. Army SNJ aircraft attacked government troops in Buenes Aires during the 1955 Revolución Libertadora, one of which was lost to an Argentine Air Force Gloster Meteor.
In 1956, Army Aviation was re-established within the Army and began a major expansion, incorporating new types of aircraft and opening new bases around the country. In 1965, using a Cessna U-17 they performed their first expedition to the South Pole.
During the 1970s the service consolidated itself as an important branch of the Army receiving aircraft such as the Aeritalia G.222 transport which caused no little differences with the Air Force. The expansion plans continued in the early 1980s with the incorporation of the Boeing CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopter.
In 1982, the Military Junta invaded the Falkland Islands (Spanish: Islas Malvinas) triggering a ten-week long war against the United Kingdom. The Argentine Army Aviation deployed CH-47 Chinooks, Agusta A109, SA330 Pumas and UH-1Hs to the islands, where they performed 796 general support flights under harsh operating conditions. Their helicopters were also extensively used in Patagonia and the Army also took over police MBB Bo 105s during the conflict. Six Army aviation members died in the war.
After the war, the Aerospatiale Super Puma was incorporated, mainly for Antarctica support duties operating from Navy's icebreaker ARA Almirante Irizar. In 1998, Argentina was granted Major Non-NATO ally status by United States President Bill Clinton and the Army Aviation began an expansive program that included the reception of OV-1 Mohawks and surplus UH-1H from the US Army. The US also authorized the delivery of 12 AH-1F Cobra gunships but the operation was halted by the Argentine Government. In the 1990s, the Aviation Army began its Unmanned aerial vehicle program, the Lipan series.picture In 2007, the Ministry of Defense evaluated the Chinese Changhe Z-11 (Argentine index AE-350) and 40 are to be built. Also in 2007, the Army unveiled the indigenous Cicaré CH-14 Aguilucho scout prototype video. A major update program is currently underway refitting the Hueys to the Huey II variant. On March 2010 it was announced the purchase of five Bell 206 for the Joint armed forces school 
Units and bases
The main airbase is located at Campo de Mayo where, training and maintenance is done. The units based there are as follows:
- Army Aviation Group 601
- 601st Assault Helicopter Battalion
- 601st Aviation Maintenance Battalion
- 601st Intelligence Support Aviation Squadron
- 602nd Attack/Scout Aviation Squadron
- 603rd General Support Aviation Squadron
- 604th Support Aviation Squadron
The service has also permanent forward location bases assigned to both division and brigade HQ levels.
- 1st Army Division
- 2nd Army Division
- 3rd Army Division
Pilot recruitment and training
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (April 2014)|
Argentine Army gets its pilots from two main sources. One are the officers graduated from the Military Academy, who volunteer for the Army Aviator Course. This course lasts one year and takes place at either the Air Force Academy, in Cordoba (for fixed wing aircraft), or the Army Aviation School (for helicopters), in Campo de Mayo, outside Buenos Aires. Since 2009, these two schools are the only training center for pilots from the three Armed Services. The other source are civilian pilots who, after a ten month course at the Military Academy, join the Army Aviation as 2nd lieutenants. While Academy-graduated officers are called "Army Aviators" and those coming from civilian life are "Army Pilots", there's no specific technical differences between them. However, "Army Pilots" can only reach the rank of colonel. Also, "Army Aviators" retain their original branch (i.e. Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery, Engineers, Signals or Ordnance) and can be posted to their branch's units in case of need. "Army Pilots", instead, can only serve in Army Aviation units or related positions, as they have no other capability.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (April 2014)|
|Aérospatiale SA 315 Lama||France||Search and rescue Andes Mountains||SA 315B||4|
|Changhe Z-11/AE-350||China/ Argentina||Light utility / armed||Z-11||0||Production under license canceled.|
|Agusta A109||Italy||Scout/attack helicopter||5||Being withdrawn|
|Bell 205||United States||Utility helicopter||205A1||4|
|UH-1 Iroquois||United States||Utility helicopter||UH-1H||28||Being upgraded to Huey II type|
|Eurocopter AS 332 Super Puma|| France
|Antarctic support helicopter||AS 332B||3|
|Bell 206||United States||joint armed forces trainer||206B3||5|
|Bell 206||United States||Utility helicopter Ground attack||206B2||0||20 been ordered to Agusta-Bell|
|Cessna T-41 Mescalero||United States||Trainer||T-41D||8|
|Alenia G.222||Italy||Transport||3||Being withdrawn|
|Beechcraft Queen Air 65||United States||Staff transport||65-B80||2|
|CASA C-212 Aviocar||Spain||Transport||C-212-200||2|
|Cessna 207||United States||Utility||T207||6|
|Cessna 550 Citation||United States||VIP transport||Citation I||2|
|de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter||Canada||Utility||DHC-6-200
|Fairchild SA-226 Merlin||United States||Staff transport||Merlin IIIA
|Grumman OV-1 Mohawk||United States||Intelligence & Electronic Warfare||OV-1D||7|
|Rockwell Sabreliner 75||United States||VIP transport||Sabreliner 75A||3|
In addition to army aviation, a small air fleet is maintained by the border guard Gendarmeria Nacional Argentina.
- CASA 212 picture
- UH-1H picture
- Puma AE-505 shot down by SAM Sea Dart (crew Roberto Fiorito, Juan Buschiazo, Raul Dimotta) UH-1H AE-419 crash near Caleta Olivia, Santa Cruz (crew Marcos Fassio, Roberto Campos, Nestor Barros. Additional 7 infantry troops were killed in this accident)
- ... represents our recognition of the importance of Argentina's leadership and cooperation in the field of international peacekeeping, notably during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, in Haiti, in its role in supervising the peace between Peru and Ecuador, and in nearly a dozen other international peacekeeping efforts ...
- El Ejército espera la llegada de ayuda militar norteamericana
- Negocia la Argentina comprar helicópteros militares a China
- mindef: AMPLIOS ANUNCIOS DE GARRE SOBRE EQUIPAMIENTO Y SERVICIOS PARA LAS FUERZAS ARMADAS
- Aviation Week & Space Technology 2009, 26 JAN 2009 Web.25 Jul 2009. <http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/sourcebook/content.jsp?channelName=pro&story=xml/sourcebook_xml/2009/01/26/AW_01_26_2009_p0240-112924-05.xml&headline=World%20Military%20Aircraft%20Inventory%20-%20Argentina>.
Portions based on a translation from Spanish Wikipedia.
- Argentine Army Aviation official site
- Argentine Army official site
- (Spanish) Los AVRO 504 en Argentina y el método Gosport
- (Spanish) El rol de la Aviación de Ejército en el desarrollo de la aviación civil (Período 1919-1927)
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