Ghana Air Force
Overview
 
The Ghana Air Force is the air force
Air force
An air force, also known in some countries as an air army, is in the broadest sense, the national military organization that primarily conducts aerial warfare. More specifically, it is the branch of a nation's armed services that is responsible for aerial warfare as distinct from an army, navy or...

 of the Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

n nation of Ghana
Ghana
Ghana , officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located in West Africa. It is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south...

. The GAF, along with the Ghanaian Army
Ghana Army
The Ghana Army is the army of the West African nation of Ghana. In 1959, two years after the Gold Coast obtained independence as Ghana, the Gold Coast Regiment was withdrawn from the Royal West African Frontier Force, and formed the basis for the new Ghanaian Army...

 and Navy
Ghana Navy
The Ghana Navy is the naval force of the West African nation of Ghana. The navy, along with the Ghana Army and Ghana Air Force, make up the Ghana Armed Forces.-History:...

, make up the armed forces of Ghana
Military of Ghana
The Ghana Armed Forces consists of the Army, Navy, and the Air Force. It is supervised by the Ministry of Defence . With around 7,000 personnel serving in the Ghanian military, Ghana has the lowest ratio of active troops per thousand citizens in the world, standing at 0.33. However, the Ghanaian...

 which are controlled by that nation's Ministry of Defence.

The GAF was founded in 1959 with direction from India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n and Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i officers. Later that year a headquarters was established in Accra
Accra
Accra is the capital and largest city of Ghana, with an urban population of 1,658,937 according to the 2000 census. Accra is also the capital of the Greater Accra Region and of the Accra Metropolitan District, with which it is coterminous...

 under the command of an Indian air commodore
Air Commodore
Air commodore is an air-officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force...

.
Encyclopedia
The Ghana Air Force is the air force
Air force
An air force, also known in some countries as an air army, is in the broadest sense, the national military organization that primarily conducts aerial warfare. More specifically, it is the branch of a nation's armed services that is responsible for aerial warfare as distinct from an army, navy or...

 of the Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

n nation of Ghana
Ghana
Ghana , officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located in West Africa. It is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south...

. The GAF, along with the Ghanaian Army
Ghana Army
The Ghana Army is the army of the West African nation of Ghana. In 1959, two years after the Gold Coast obtained independence as Ghana, the Gold Coast Regiment was withdrawn from the Royal West African Frontier Force, and formed the basis for the new Ghanaian Army...

 and Navy
Ghana Navy
The Ghana Navy is the naval force of the West African nation of Ghana. The navy, along with the Ghana Army and Ghana Air Force, make up the Ghana Armed Forces.-History:...

, make up the armed forces of Ghana
Military of Ghana
The Ghana Armed Forces consists of the Army, Navy, and the Air Force. It is supervised by the Ministry of Defence . With around 7,000 personnel serving in the Ghanian military, Ghana has the lowest ratio of active troops per thousand citizens in the world, standing at 0.33. However, the Ghanaian...

 which are controlled by that nation's Ministry of Defence.

History

The GAF was founded in 1959 with direction from India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n and Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i officers. Later that year a headquarters was established in Accra
Accra
Accra is the capital and largest city of Ghana, with an urban population of 1,658,937 according to the 2000 census. Accra is also the capital of the Greater Accra Region and of the Accra Metropolitan District, with which it is coterminous...

 under the command of an Indian air commodore
Air Commodore
Air commodore is an air-officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force...

. In 1960 Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 personnel took up the task of training the newly established Ghana Air Force and in 1961 they were joined by a small group of Royal Canadian Air Force
Royal Canadian Air Force
The history of the Royal Canadian Air Force begins in 1920, when the air force was created as the Canadian Air Force . In 1924 the CAF was renamed the Royal Canadian Air Force and granted royal sanction by King George V. The RCAF existed as an independent service until 1968...

 personnel. In September 1961 as part of President Kwame Nkrumah
Kwame Nkrumah
Kwame Nkrumah was the leader of Ghana and its predecessor state, the Gold Coast, from 1952 to 1966. Overseeing the nation's independence from British colonial rule in 1957, Nkrumah was the first President of Ghana and the first Prime Minister of Ghana...

's Africanization
Africanization
Africanization or Africanisation has been applied in various contexts, notably in naming and in the composition of staff.-Africanization of names:...

 program, the Royal Air Force commander was replaced by a Ghanaian Air Commodore, with the first being J.E.S. de Graft-Hayford. Although born in the U.K. he was of Ghanaian descent and became Africa's first 'Chief of the Air Staff' south of the Sahara.

The Ghana Air Force was the first sub-Sahara air force, and for a time the largest. It was equipped with a squadron of Chipmunk
De Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk
The de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk is a tandem, two-seat, single-engined primary trainer aircraft which was the standard primary trainer for the Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Air Force and several other air forces through much of the post-Second World War years...

 trainers, and squadrons of Beavers
De Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver
The de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver is a single-engined, high-wing, propeller-driven, STOL aircraft developed by de Havilland Canada, primarily known as a bush plane. It is used for cargo and passenger hauling, aerial application , and has been widely adopted by armed forces as a utility aircraft...

, Otters
De Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter
The de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter is a single-engined, high-wing, propeller-driven, STOL aircraft developed by de Havilland Canada. It was conceived to be capable of performing the same roles as the earlier and highly successful Beaver, but was overall a larger aircraft.-Design and...

 and Caribou
De Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou
The de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou is a Canadian-designed and produced specialized cargo aircraft with short takeoff and landing capability...

 transport aircraft. In addition a DH125 jet was bought for Kwame Nkrumah, Hughes helicopters were bought for Mosquito spraying plus DH Doves and Herons. Whirlwind helicopters and a squadron of MB 326 ground attack/trainer jets were also purchased.

In 1962 the national school of gliding was set up by Hanna Reitsch
Hanna Reitsch
Hanna Reitsch was a German aviator and the only woman awarded the Iron Cross First Class and the Luftwaffe Combined Pilots-Observation Badge in Gold with Diamonds during World War II...

, who was once Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

's top personal pilot. Under the command of Air Commodore de Graft-Hayford, she served as director, operations instructor and trainer of the school. She also acted as the personal pilot of Kwame Nkrumah
Kwame Nkrumah
Kwame Nkrumah was the leader of Ghana and its predecessor state, the Gold Coast, from 1952 to 1966. Overseeing the nation's independence from British colonial rule in 1957, Nkrumah was the first President of Ghana and the first Prime Minister of Ghana...

 from 1962-1966.

Organization

The GAF headquarters and main transport base are located in Accra and the Service has a strength of around 1000 personnel. Other air bases include:
  • Tamale
    Tamale, Ghana
    Tamale with a population of 360,579 , is the capital of the Northern Region of Ghana and the Tamale Metropolitan District with which it is coterminous Area. The city is located 600 km north of Accra...

    , a combat and training base.
  • Takoradi
    Sekondi-Takoradi
    Sekondi-Takoradi, population 335,000 , comprising the twin cities of Sekondi and Takoradi, is the capital of the Western Region of Ghana. It is Ghana's fourth largest city and an industrial and commercial center. The chief industries are timber, plywood, shipbuilding and railroad repair and...

    , a training base.
  • Accra
    Accra
    Accra is the capital and largest city of Ghana, with an urban population of 1,658,937 according to the 2000 census. Accra is also the capital of the Greater Accra Region and of the Accra Metropolitan District, with which it is coterminous...

    , a support base.

Mission

The GAF's mission is to perform counterinsurgency operations and to provide logistical support to the Ghanaian army. However, performance has been hindered by a lack of spare parts and by poor maintenance capabilities.

Aircraft Inventory

The Ghana Air Force owns 38 aircraft, including 2 combat jets and 11 helicopters.

All other aircraft were grounded because of lack of spare parts.
! style="text-align: center; background: #aacccc;"|Aircraft
! style="text-align: center; background: #aacccc;"|Origin
! style="text-align: center; background: #aacccc;"|Type
! style="text-align: center; background: #aacccc;"|Versions
! style="text-align: center; background: #aacccc;"|In service
! style="text-align: center; background: #aacccc;"|Notes
|-----
| Aermacchi MB-326
Aermacchi MB-326
The Aermacchi or Macchi MB-326 is a light military jet aircraft designed in Italy. Originally conceived as a two-seat trainer, there have also been single and two-seat light attack versions produced. It is one of the most commercially successful aircraft of its type, being bought by more than 10...

 || || trainer || MB-326 || 4 ||
|-----
| Aero L-39 Albatros
Aero L-39
The Aero L-39 Albatros is a high-performance jet trainer aircraft developed in Czechoslovakia to meet requirements for a "C-39" during the 1960s to replace the L-29 Delfín...

 || || trainer
attack || L-39ZO || 2 ||
|-----
| Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander
Britten-Norman Islander
The Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander is a 1960s British light utility aircraft, regional airliner and cargo aircraft designed and originally manufactured by Britten-Norman of the United Kingdom. The Islander is one of the best-selling commercial aircraft types produced in Europe. Although designed in...

 || || utility transport || BN-2 || ||
|-----
| Cessna 172 Skyhawk
Cessna 172
The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is a four-seat, single-engine, high-wing fixed-wing aircraft. First flown in 1955 and still in production, more Cessna 172s have been built than any other aircraft.-Design and development:...

 || || utility || || 3 ||
|-----
| Falcon 900B
Falcon 900
|-See also:-External links:* * * *...

 || || VIP || || 1 ||
|-----
| EADS-CASA C-295 || || transport || || 1 (2) ||
|-----
| Fokker F27 Friendship
Fokker F27
The Fokker F27 Friendship is a turboprop airliner designed and built by the Dutch aircraft manufacturer Fokker.-Design and development:Design of the Fokker F27 started in the 1950s as a replacement to the successful Douglas DC-3 airliner...

 || || tactical transport || F27-400M
F27-600 || 2
1 ||
|-----
| Fokker F28 Fellowship
Fokker F28
The Fokker F28 Fellowship is a short range jet airliner designed and built by defunct Dutch aircraft manufacturer Fokker.-Design and development:...

 || || passenger transport || F28-3000 || 1 ||
|-----
| Hongdu K-8 Karakorum
Hongdu JL-8
The Hongdu JL-8 is a two-seat intermediate jet trainer and light attack aircraft designed in the People's Republic of China by China Nanchang Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation. The primary contractor for this plane is the Hongdu Aviation Industry Corporation...

 || / || trainer || K-8 (export) || 4 ||
|-----
| Mil Mi-2 Hoplite
Mil Mi-2
The Mil Mi-2 is a small, lightly armored transport helicopter that could also provide close air support when armed with 57 mm rockets and a 23 mm cannon.-Design and development:...

 || || utility helicopter || Mi-2 || 2 ||
|-----
| Mil Mi-17 Hip-H
Mil Mi-17
The Mil Mi-17 is a Russian helicopter currently in production at two factories in Kazan and Ulan-Ude...

 || || transport helicopter || Mi-17 || 4 ||
|-----
| Aérospatiale SA-319 Alouette III
Aérospatiale Alouette III
The Aérospatiale Alouette III is a single-engine, light utility helicopter developed by Sud Aviation. It was manufactured by Aérospatiale of France, and under licence by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in India as Hal Chetak and Industria Aeronautică Română in Romania.The Alouette III is the...

 || || utility helicopter || SA-319B || 2 ||
|-----
| Agusta A109
Agusta A109
The AgustaWestland AW109 is a light-weight, twin-engine, eight-seat multi-purpose helicopter built by the Anglo-Italian manufacturer AgustaWestland...

 || || utility helicopter || A109 || 2 ||
|-----
| Bell 412
Bell 412
The Bell 412 is a utility helicopter manufactured by Bell Helicopter. It is a development of the Bell 212 model, the major difference being the composite four-blade main rotor.-Design and development:...

 || || transport helicopter || 412SP || 1 ||
The Ghana Air Force has requested four Alenia C-27J Spartans as replacements for the dwindling numbers of airworthy Fokker F27
Fokker F27
The Fokker F27 Friendship is a turboprop airliner designed and built by the Dutch aircraft manufacturer Fokker.-Design and development:Design of the Fokker F27 started in the 1950s as a replacement to the successful Douglas DC-3 airliner...

s still in service. They changed mid-purchase and ordered 2 EADS-CASA C-295 aircraft.

Chiefs of the Air Staff

The senior appointment in the GAF is the Chief of Air Staff. The following is a list of the Ghana Air Force Chiefs of the Air Staff:
  • Air Commodore K. Jaswant-Singh (May 1959 – Aug 1960) - Indian
  • Wing Commander I. M. Gundry-White (British) (Sep 1960 – Mar 1961)
  • Air Commodore John N. H. Whitworth
    John Whitworth
    Air Commodore John Nicholas Haworth Whitworth CB, DSO, DFC and Bar, RAF was a Royal Air Force pilot in the 1930s and a commander during and after the Second World War....

     (British) (Mar 1961 - Sep 1962)
  • Air Commodore J.E.S. de Graft-Hayford (First Ghanaian CAS) (Sep 1962 – Jul 1963)
  • Air Vice-Marshal Michael Otu
    Michael Otu
    Air Marshal Michael Akuoko Otu was a senior commander in the Ghana Air Force who served as Chief of Air Staff and then Chief of Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces.-References:...

     (Jul 1963 – Mar 1968)
  • Air Commodore N. Y. R. Ashley-Larsen
    Napoleon Ashley-Larsen
    Napoleon Yaovi R. Ashley-Larsen was a Chief of the Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces. He was also twice Chief of Air Staff of the Ghana Air Force. He was also a member of the National Redemption Council , formed after the overthrow of the Busia government in 1972.-Career:Ashley-Larsen was...

     (Mar 1968 – Jan 1971)
  • Air Commodore Charles Beausoliel (Jan 1971 - Dec 1971)
  • Air Commodore N. Y. R. Ashley-Larsen (Dec 1971 – Jan 1972)
  • Air Commodore Charles Beausoliel (Dec 1972 - Nov 1976)
  • Air Vice Marshal George Yaw Boakye (Nov 1976 - Jun 1979)
  • Group Captain F. W. K. Klutse (Jun 1979 – Dec 1979)
  • Air Commodore J. E. Odaate- Barnor (Dec 1979 – May 1980)
  • Air Commodore K. K. Pumpuni (May 1980 – Jan 1982)
  • Group Captain E. A. A. Awuviri (Jan 1982 – Dec 1982)
  • Air Vice Marshal J. E. A. Kotei
    J. E. A. Kotei
    Air Vice-Marshal James Ernest Akrong Kotei was a soldier and diplomat. He served as a Chief of Air Staff of the Ghana Air Force and later as an Ambassador for Ghana.James Kotei was a brother of the late Robert Kotei...

      (Dec 1982 – Jun 1988)
  • Air Marshal Harry Dumashie  (Jun 1988 – Jun 1992)
  • Air Marshal John Asamoah Bruce (? – 16 March 2001) 5 Jun 92 – Feb 2001
  • Air Vice Marshal Edward Apau Mantey
    Edward Mantey
    Air Vice-Marshal Edward Apau Mantey was a senior commander in Ghana Air Force and Ghanaian Chief of the Air Staff from 16 March 2001 until May 2005.In late 2006, Mantey was appointed as the Ghanaian ambassador to Turkmenistan...

     (Feb 2001 – Jan 2005)
  • Air Vice Marshal Julius Otchere Boateng (20 May 2005 – to 28 Jan 2009)
  • Air Vice Marshal M. Samson-Oje (31 Mar 2009 - present)

Rank Structure

The GAF's rank structure is similar to the RAF's rank structure from where its ranks were derived.

Officers

In descending order of importance the GAF officer ranks are:http://www.uniforminsignia.net/index.php?p=show&id=18&sid=291
  • Air Marshal
    Air Marshal
    Air marshal is a three-star air-officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force...

  • Air Vice Marshal
  • Air Commodore
    Air Commodore
    Air commodore is an air-officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force...

  • Group Captain
    Group Captain
    Group captain is a senior commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many other Commonwealth countries. It ranks above wing commander and immediately below air commodore...

  • Wing Commander
    Wing Commander (rank)
    Wing commander is a commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many other Commonwealth countries...

  • Squadron Leader
    Squadron Leader
    Squadron Leader is a commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many countries which have historical British influence. It is also sometimes used as the English translation of an equivalent rank in countries which have a non-English air force-specific rank structure. In these...

  • Flight Lieutenant
    Flight Lieutenant
    Flight lieutenant is a junior commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many Commonwealth countries. It ranks above flying officer and immediately below squadron leader. The name of the rank is the complete phrase; it is never shortened to "lieutenant"...

  • Flying Officer
    Flying Officer
    Flying officer is a junior commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many countries which have historical British influence...

  • Pilot Officer
    Pilot Officer
    Pilot officer is the lowest commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many other Commonwealth countries. It ranks immediately below flying officer...


Airmen

In descending order of importance the GAF airman ranks are:http://www.uniforminsignia.net/index.php?p=show&id=18&sid=291
  • Warrant Officer Class I
  • Warrant Officer Class II
  • Flight Sergeant
    Flight Sergeant
    Flight sergeant is a senior non-commissioned rank in the British Royal Air Force and several other air forces which have adopted all or part of the RAF rank structure...

  • Sergeant
    Sergeant
    Sergeant is a rank used in some form by most militaries, police forces, and other uniformed organizations around the world. Its origins are the Latin serviens, "one who serves", through the French term Sergent....

  • Corporal
    Corporal
    Corporal is a rank in use in some form by most militaries and by some police forces or other uniformed organizations. It is usually equivalent to NATO Rank Code OR-4....

  • Leading Aircraftman
    Leading Aircraftman
    Leading aircraftman Leading aircraftman (LAC) Leading aircraftman (LAC) (or leading aircraftwoman (LACW) is a rank in some air forces, between aircraftman and senior aircraftman and having a NATO rank code of OR-2. The rank badge is a horizontal two-bladed propeller....


Skyvan episode

The GAF once operated six Shorts Skyvans, two of which (the G452 (SH1929) and G455 (SH1933)) had structural damage and were scrapped. The other four were sold to an Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

n Company in 2004
2004 in aviation
This is a list of aviation-related events from 2004:-January:* 2 - Several British Airways flights from London Heathrow Airport to Washington D.C. and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia are cancelled due to security fears....

(SH1929, SH1930, SH1932 and SH1933).
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