Dominican Air Force

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Dominican Air Force
Fuerza Aérea de República Dominicana
Comando Aereo Fuerza Aerea Dominicana fixed.svg
Dominican Air Force logo
Active February 15, 1948 - present
Country Dominican Republic
Branch Air Force
Type Air Force
Size 5,498 personnel, 43 aircraft
Anniversaries February 15, 1948
Engagements Dominican Civil War
Commanders
Current
commander
Maj. Gen. Hernadez Hernandez
Notable
commanders
Frank Féliz Miranda
Insignia
Roundel Dominican Air Force roundel.svg Dominican Air Force roundel-Low-Visibility.svg
Air Force Ensign Air Force Ensign of Dominican Republic.svg

The Air Force of the Dominican Republic or Fuerza Aérea de República Dominicana, is one of the three branches of the Military of the Dominican Republic, together with the Army and the Navy.

History[edit]

In 1932 the El Arma de Aviación del Ejército Nacional was formed as part of the Dominican Army. Until 1942 only about a dozen aircraft were purchased. The service was renamed Compañia de Aviación del Ejército Nacional on October 26, 1942. Whilst granting base facilities to the United States during World War II the Dominican Republic received limited quantities of Lend-Lease military equipment. In 1947 a group of Dominican Republic exiles from Cuba tried to invade the country. The government wanted to receive large quantities of bombers and fighters aircraft from the United States, but the government blocked these sales and prevented sales of the Canadian government to President Trujillo. But agents of the president managed to buy some Beaufighter and Mosquito aircraft from the United Kingdom. After signing the Rio Treaty 1947 the Dominican Republic received large quantities of aircraft, for example 25 P-47D fighter-bomber and 30 AT-6 trainers from the United States. With this influx of aircraft the Compañia de Aviación expanded and became an independent service on January 15, 1948, and was renamed Cuerpo de Aviación Militar Dominicana. It moved its headquarters to Base Aérea Presidente Trujillo, in the capital's suburb of San Isidro.

Dominican Air Force Super Tucano

The Air Force underwent several name changes during the 1950s, being known as the Dominican Military Aviation during 1952-55 and 1957–62 and as the Dominican Air Force during 1955-57. In 1962 it again became known as the Dominican Air Force, the name is still in use today.

In 1952, 25 Vampires and 32 North American P-51D were bought from Sweden but similar purchases from Canada and Japan were again blocked by the United States. By 1956 the Fuerza Aérea Dominicana had about 240 aircraft. During the next years most of the post-war equipment was at the end of its useful life. After the assassination of President Trujillo in 1961 funds for the Air Force decreased and in 1963 the Air Force had only 110 aircraft.

During the next 15 years the number of aircraft in the Air Force declined again and only second-line material, such as training aircraft or helicopters, were acquired. In the early 1980s the Fuerza Aérea Dominicana had about 80 aircraft in five operational squadrons with most of the aircraft and helicopters operating out of San Isidro Air Base in Santo Domingo.

On the 22nd of September 1998 Hurricane George struck San Isidro the main FAD base and destroyed one hangar and severely damaged another, destroying the aircraft in both hangars. The natural disaster saw the FAD new aircraft enter service such as eight ENAER T-35 Pilláns that were delivered in two batches, the first in November 1999 and the second in January 2000. During the same period three CASA 212-400 transport planes were ordered.

Air Bases[edit]

Aircraft inventory[edit]

The Dominican Air Force was offered 3 Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King helicopters by its U.S allies, but turned the offer down due to that it could not afford the maintenance. In 2007 the Dominican Air Force announced that it will purchase 8 Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano aircraft from Brazil. By the end of 2008 the purchase was approved and the first two aircraft were delivered in 2009. The Dominican Air force recently acquired an EL/M-2106NG - Air Defense Search Radar - ADSR from Israel.

Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service[1] Notes
Bell UH-1 Iroquois  United States utility helicopter UH-1H
UH-1H Huey II
3
8
Bell OH-58 Kiowa  United States scout helicopter OH-58A 9 2 Ex-MdG 0601 & 0602 were transferred to the Air Force, one lost on 10 October 2014.[2]
Bell 430  United States utility helicopter 1 on loan for Presidential Transport
CASA C-212 Aviocar  Spain transport C-212-400 3
Embraer Super Tucano  Brazil attack, trainer AT-29B 8
ENAER Pillán  Chile trainer T-35B 8 One lost on 7 April 2013.[3]
Eurocopter Dauphin  France utility helicopter AS 365N1 1 Presidential Transport
Eurocopter EC155  France utility helicopter EC155 1 Presidential Transport
Hughes H-6 Cayuse  United States scout helicopter OH-6A 1
Schweizer 333  United States utility helicopter 4 One lost
Aero Commander 500  United States VIP Division 1
General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper  United States Unmanned Aaerial Vehicle (UAV) MQ-9 1 On lease from USA.

Old Aircraft inventory[edit]

Dominican AF De Havilland Mosquito FB.6
Aircraft Origin Type Versions Quantity Service[4]
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress  United States Bomber B-17G 2 1947–1958
Beaufighter  United Kingdom Bomber TF.X 10 1948–1954
De Havilland Mosquito  United Kingdom Bomber FB.VI 5 1948–1954
North American B-25 Mitchell  United States Bomber B-25C/H/G/J 5 1950–1967
Lockheed P-38 Lightning  United States Heavy Fighter 11 1947–1950
Republic P-47 Thunderbolt  United States Fighter P-47D 25 1947–1957
De Havilland Vampire  United Kingdom Fighter 25 F1
17 FB.50
42 1952–1974
North American P-51 Mustang  United States Fighter P-51D 50 1948–1984
A-37 Dragonfly  United States Light attack A-37B 8 1982–2001
North American T-6 Texan  United States Trainer 68 1943–1995
Vultee BT-13 Valiant  United States Trainer B-13A 25 1943–1954
Boeing-Stearman Model 75  United States Trainer PT-13/17 25 1943–1954
Cessna AT-17  United States Trainer T-50 4 1950–1952
Beechcraft T-34 Mentor  United States Trainer T-34B 10 -1982
North American T-28 Trojan  United States Trainer T-28A/B 5 -1982
Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star  United States Trainer AT-33A 6 1958(4) 1969(2)
Cessna O-2 Skymaster  United States Obersvartion O-2A 5 1988-1997
Douglas C-47 Skytrain  United States Transport 1948-1989
Curtiss-Wright C-46 Commando  United States Transport -1982
Douglas A-26 Invader  United States Bomber A-26 5 1959-1966
Consolidated PBY Catalina  United States Flying boat PBY-5A 7 1946–1957

References[edit]

External links[edit]