Venezuela Air Force
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Venezuela
Air Force

 

 

Current Title: Aviación Militar Bolivariana
Title in English: Venezuela Air Force
Abbreviation: AMB

History

Narrative Summary:
Military aviation started on 10.12.1920, when an Air Academy was established. A French air misson brought some Caudron G.3 and Caudron G.4 aircraft to Venezuela in January 1921 and left in 1923. After that the Servicio de Aeronáutica Militar was established although flying operations were suspended until another French mission arrived in country in 1924. During 1928 the Aviación Militar Venezolana, as the service is known now, received Breguet 19 bomber and reconnaissance aircraft. The AMV saw its first combat operations during the revolution in 1929.

In 1930 the first air base for the AMV was built as Base Aérea Boca del Rio and the first operational unit, Grupo de Aviación Venezuela, was formed, which operated alongside the Grupo Escuela de Aviación Militar. During the 1930s many new aircraft were bought from France, UK and the USA. In 1936 the Regimiento Militar de Aviación 1 was formed, which operated as higher headquarters for the two subordinated groups. A reorganisation took place in 1938, when an Italien military mission arrived in Venezuela and the subordinated groups of Regimiento Militar de Aviación 1 were formed from units of the now disbanded Grupo de Aviación Venezuela.

From 1940 on Venezuela received some aircraft from the United States through the Lend-Lease programm. A military mission from the United States arrived in 1944 and the AMV was renamed "Servicio de Aeronáutica". But it was not until 1947, when the Venezuela Air Force became an independent service and was renamed "Fuerza Aérea Venezuelana" (FAV) on 10.10.1947. It was also in 1947 when the Venezuelan Air Force got transport, training and also, for the first time, combat aircraft from the USA. A mayor reorganisation took place on 12.3.1948, when Regimiento Militar de Aviación 1 was disbanded and the Grupo Mixto de Caza y Reconocimiento 9 and the Grupo Mixto de Bombardeo y Transporte 10 were formed.

During the 1950s large quantities of modern aircraft, Venom, Vampire, Camberra and F-86 Sabre were bought and many new squadrons were established. Money was available through the immense oil riches of Venezuela. The next reorganisation took place in 1961, when the existing squadrons were subordinated to special air groups. (e.g. Grupo Aéreo de Caza, Grupo Aéreo de Bombardeo or Grupo Aéreo de Transporte).

Another moderisation programme was launched in 1971 when Mirage V, CF-5A/D Freedom Fighter, OV-10E Bronco and some C-130H Hercules were bought to replace the obsolete fighter and COIN aircraft. During the next decade modern replacement was bought and Venezuela became the first and only country during this time in Southern America to receive F-16A/B fighters from the USA in 1983.

On 27.11.1992 Brig. Gen. Visconti of the FAV launched a coup to overtrough the president. Visconti concentrated a considerable number of FAV combat aircraft at BA El Libertador to support the coup. Aircraft of the rebels attacked the Presidential Palace and army barracks in Caracas. Meanwhile, an event occurred that was not a part of Visconti’s plan: during the assault on BA El Libertador, early in the morning, two F-16A-pilots, loyal to the president, of GAC16 hijacked two alert Fighting Falcons and took off. The pilots were vectored to intercept and seem to have caught rebel-flown strikers in the vicinity of Maracay, then the first OV-10 was shot down and crashed at BA El Libertador after the pilot ejected safely. The same F-16-pilot subsequently shot down another Bronco. Later on that day an F-16 shot down an AT-27 over Caracas. Obviously, the two F-16As were sufficient to establish air superiority for loyal troops. Once the rebel leaders realized their situation, Visconti and 92 other officers and soldiers left Palo Negro aboard the C-130H (FAV2715), escaping to Peru. 

The service was rename Aviación Militar Venezolana (AMV) in 2001. The Air Force got its present name Aviación Militar Nacional Bolivariana (AMNB) at a later date. Today the AMV is made up of three major commands.

 

Key Dates:
10 December 1920    Air Academy was established.
1923   Servicio de Aeronáutica Militar was formed.
1930   The first operational unit, Grupo de Aviación Venezuela, was established.
1936   Regimiento Militar de Aviación 1 was formed.
1944   The Air Force was renamed Servicio de Aeronáutica.
10 October 1947   The Air Force became an independent service and was renamed Fuerza Aérea Venezuelana (FAV).
12 March 1948   The Grupo Mixto de Caza y Reconocimiento 9 and the Grupo Mixto de Bombardeo y Transporte 10 were formed.
1961   Big reorganisation of the FAV took place.
1983   The FAV received F-16A/B fighters from the USA.
27 November 1992   Brig. Gen. Visconti of the FAV launched a coup that failed.
2001   The Air Force was again renamed Aviación Militar Venezolana (AMV).
 

Current Status:
The aircraft of the Air Force are fully operational.

Future Plans:
No information available.

Markings

National Insignia:
Current --- Historical

 

 

Aircraft Serial Numbering System(s):
From the early 1930s until the late 1940s the aircraft serials began with number 1 and were used in chronological order as aircraft arrive in the Air Force.

 

From the late 1940s until 1961 there was a code system which provided an immediate identification of an aircraft's Escuadrilla and Escuadrón. The codes consisted of a plane-in-flight number, an Escuadrilla letter (sometimes followed by role letters) and the Escuadrón number. Thus, aircraft 5B40 was the fifth aircraft of Escuadrilla B of Escuadrón de Bombardeo 40; aircraft 4BT1 was the forth aircraft of Escuadrilla B of Escuadrón de Transporte (hence T) 1 or helicopter 6AHR1 was the sixth helicopter (H) of Escuadrilla A of Escuadrón de Reconocimiento 1.

 

At the AMV Headquarters, at B.A. Fransisco de Miranda, Caracas, there is a large book holding pages 0001 thru 9999. Whenever a new aircraft is added to the fleet, this book is opened at random page: if this page is already taken by an active aircraft, then another page is opened - so that the new aircraft gets a "new" serial number. This system is used from 1961.

 

Unit/Base Aircraft Code System(s):
From the late 1940s until 1961 there was a code system which provided an immediate identification of an aircraft's Escuadrilla and Escuadrón. The codes consisted of a plane-in-flight number, an Escuadrilla letter (sometimes followed by role letters) and the Escuadrón number. Thus, aircraft 5B40 was the fifth aircraft of Escuadrilla B of Escuadrón de Bombardeo 40; aircraft 4BT1 was the forth aircraft of Escuadrilla B of Escuadrón de Transporte (hence T) 1 or helicopter 6AHR1 was the sixth helicopter (H) of Escuadrilla A of Escuadrón de Reconocimiento 1.

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Aircraft

Aircraft Designation System(s):
None.

Current Aircraft Inventory:
Table of Current Service Aircraft

All-Time Aircraft Used List:
Alphabetical Order --- Chronological Order

Organisation

Main Headquarters:
Comandancia de la Aviación, B.A. Fransisco de Miranda, La Carlota IAP, Caracas

Current Organisational Structure:
The Air Force is organised in three operational commands each with a number of Grupo Aéreos and Escuadróns.

Current Order of Battle:
Table of Current Order of Battle

 

 

Historical Orders of Battle:

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1930)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1936)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1939)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1943)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1949)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1967)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1989)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1999)


 

All-Time Flying Units List: (only units, which are not included in the Orders of Battle)

Centro de Instrucción de Vuelo Instrumental Simulado "Teniente Coronel (Av.) (F) Luís Apolinar Méndez"

 

 

Air Bases

Current Air Bases:
The Venezuela Air Force currently operates seven mayor airbases and some secondary airfields.

Military Air Bases Listing

All-Time Air Bases Used List:
Military Air Bases Listing

More Information

Books:

 

Armed Forces of Latin America (Adrian English)

Latin-American Military Aviation (John Andrade)

Texan and Harvards in Latin America (Dan Hagedorn)

Latin American Fighters (Iñigo Guevara y Moyano)

Latin American Air Wars and Aircraft 1912-1969 (Dan Hagedorn)

Aircraft of the Chaco War 1928-1935 (Dan Hagedorn / Antonio L. Sapienza)

Air Arsenal North America (Phil Butler)

 

Magazines:

 

World Air Power Journal No.30 p. 150-154

Websites:

Aviación Militar Venezolana

FAV-Club

Scramble: Venezuelan Air Arms

Venezuelan Coup Attempt 1992

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First Created: 25 June 2007 - Last Revised:  25 July 2010
Copyright © 2007 Erich Klaus.    e-mail: erich.klaus@a1.net