Belize Defence Force

Operator Profile
 

Key Facts

Current Title:
Belize Defence Force Air Wing
English Title:
Belize Defence Force Air Wing
Abbreviation:
BDF
First Established:
1983
ICAO Code:
(none)
Country:
Belize
Status:
Active

History

Narrative Summary

The Belize Defence Force Air Wing was formed in 1983 and based at Belize City. The main tasks of the Air Wing are reconnaissance, SAR, transport and anti-narcotic. Two BN-2B Defenders were bought in Britain and formed the backbone of the air wing for years. The two aircraft could be equipped with light armament as rocketpods, torpedoes and guns, making them the first armed aircraft in Belizean history. In 1991 the Guatemalan government recognized the self determination of the Belizean people, ten years after it’s independence. This step was followed in 1992 by a declaration of the Guatemalan president of the recognition of the independent state of Belize and the establishment of diplomatic relation between the two countries. After this the RAF Harriers were withdrawn from Belize in 1993 followed by the Puma helicopters in 1994 marking the disbandment of the British Force Belize (BFB). The BDF assumed total defence responsibility on January 1, 1994.

The only British flying unit left in Belize is the Army Air Corps 25 Flight equipped with some Gazelle and Lynx helicopters, based at Price Barracks, Ladyville. During the 1990s the Air Wing was expanded by a Cessna 182 and a Slingsby T67M-260 basic training aircraft, the latter acquired in 1996 in Britain and marking another step towards self-reliance of the Belize Defence Force by training the Air Wing’s own pilots. Tragedy however struck in October 1998, when one of the BN-2B (BDF-01) crashed in a swampy area southeast of Indian Church in the Orange Walk District. Following the significant decrease in capacity, a Britten-Norman Islander was obtained as a replacement aircraft. As with the British, the BDF receives military assistance from the United States, seeing Department of State Air Wing  (DOSAW) operated UH-1H helicopters and Ayres S2R defoliant sprayers deployed in the country.

Key Dates

1983    Belize Defence Force Air Wing was formed.
1993    RAF Harriers were withdrawn from Belize.
1 January 1994    The BDF assumed total defence responsibility.
1994    British Forces Belize was disbanded.
October 1998    BDF-01 crashed.

Current Status

The Air Wing is fully operational.

Future Plans

No information available.

Markings

National Insignia

Current — Historical

Aircraft Serial Numbers

First serials were allocated to aircraft in 1983. The prefix BDF is used.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None.

Current Aircraft Inventory

Table of Current Service Aircraft

All-Time Aircraft Used List

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports of aircraft on order or in service have been noted.

Organisation

Main Headquarters:
Price Barracks, Ladyville

Organisational Structure

The Air Force is organised into one operational unit.

Current Order of Battle

Table of Current Order of Battle

Historical Orders of Battle

None.

All-Time Flying Units List

Air Wing

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

The Belizean Air Force currently operates one major airbase and a number of secondary airfields.
Military Air Bases Listing

All-Time Air Bases Used List

Military Air Bases Listing

More Information

Books

None.

Magazines

World Air Power Journal 32, p.142

Websites

None.

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