Panamanian Air Force

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The Guardia Nacional established an air force in 1931, after the decision was made in 1914 to disband the Panamanian Navy and formed the Guardia Nacional del Aire (Air National Guard) with 3 light airplanes. Very little military flying was done until Pearl Harbor in 1941, because units of the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army Air
Corps, which were based in the Canal Zone, fulfilled the security requirements of Panama. After that the United States established many military bases in Panama to defend the Canal. In the 1940s the Guardia Nacional del Aire was reorganised and became known as Fuerza Aérea de la Guardia Nacional, but was finally disbanded in 1945.

During the next years no military flying took place by the Panamanian government. It was only in October 1964, when an Cessna 185 was taken on charge, that the Guardia Nacional formed the Destacamento Aéreo No.1 (1. Air Detachment). But it took another five years, when the service was expanded with the purchase of additional aircraft and helicopters and became kown as the Fuerza Aérea Panameña (FAP) on January 17, 1969.

The FAP had no combat aircraft but about 30 transport and communication aircraft and helicopters and used two bases in Ciudad de Panamá. At the time of the United States invaion in 1989 the FAP consisted of 4 flying units with about 60 aircraft and helicopters. The Panamanian Air Force lost 37 aircraft during "Operation Just Cause" and was subsequently disbanded. Some of the surviving aircraft were transferred to civilian use.

Key Dates

1931    Guardia Nacional del Aire was formed.
1945 Fuerza Aérea de la Guardia Nacional was disbanded.
October 1964 Destacamento Aéreo No.1 was established.
17 January 1969 Fuerza Aérea Panameña was created as part of the Guardia Nacional.
December 1989 Invasion by the United States (Operation "Just Cause").
December 1989   FAP disbanded.

Current Status

The Air Force was disbanded in December 1989.

Future Plans

Not applicable.

Markings

National Insignia

National Markings

Aircraft Serial Numbers

First serials were allocated to aircraft in 1931. Serials began with number 1 and were used in chronological order as aircraft arrived in the Air Force with the prefix G.N. (Guardia Nacional).

FAP aircraft are allocated three-digit serial numbers, usually prefixed from 1969 until 1989 with ‘FAP’, within five blocks:

 

001 to 099 communication (incl. helicopters)

100 to 199 helicopters

200 to 299 twin-engined transports

300 to 399 single-engined transports

400 to 499 multi-engined transports

 

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None.

Current Aircraft Inventory

Not applicable

All-Time Aircraft Used List

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Ciudad de Panamá

Organisational Structure

The Air Force is organised in three operational squadrons and one presidential flight.

Current Order of Battle

Not applicable.

Historical Orders of Battle

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1933)
Historical Order of Battle (as at 1967)
Historical Order of Battle (as at 1977)
Historical Order of Battle (as at 1989)

All-Time Flying Units List

(only units, which are not included in the Orders of Battle)
Guardia Nacional del Aire

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

Not applicable.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

Military Air Bases Listing

More Information

Books

None.

Magazines

To be added.

Websites

To be added.

Historical Order of Battle for 1989

of the Panama Air Force

Click on unit title for more details

Unit Type Base
1er Escuadrón de Transporte BN-2A, C-212, PA-32/34 Ciudad de Panamá/Tocumen IAP
2do Escuadrón de Helicópteros Bell 212, UH-1B/H, Super Puma Ciudad de Panamá/BA Jorge Jurado
3er Escuadrón de Entrenamiento, Reconocimiento y Ataque T-35B/D Ciudad de Panamá/BA Jorge Jurado
Escuadrilla de Patrulla Maritima CN-235N Ciudad de Panamá/Tocumen IAP
Escuadrilla Presidencial B-727, Learjet 35A Ciudad de Panamá/Tocumen IAP

 

Historical Order of Battle for 1977

of the Panama Air Force

Click on unit title for more details

Unit Type Base
1er Escuadrón de Transporte BN-2A, Cessna 402/404, DHC-3/6 Ciudad de Panamá/Tocumen IAP
2do Escuadrón de Helicópteros Bell 212, UH-1B/H Ciudad de Panamá/Tocumen IAP
Escuadrilla Presidencial IAI 1123 Ciudad de Panamá/Tocumen IAP

 

Panama SEC Current Order of Battle

of the Panamanian National Aeronaval Service

Click on unit title for more details

Unit Type Base
1er Escuadrón Aéreo BN-2A, CASA 212, PA-31/34, Cessna 152/172/210 Ciudad de Panamá/Tucumen IAP
2do Escuadrón Aéreo

Bell 407/212/412, UH-1H,

MD-500E, EC145

Ciudad de Panamá/Tucumen IAP
3er Escuadrón Aéreo T-35B/D Ciudad de Panamá/Tucumen IAP
Escuadrilla Presidencial Gulfstream II, S-76C Balboa/Howard AFB
Destacamento Aéreo de Rambala   Rambala/Bocas del Toro AP

 

 

Guardia Nacional del Aire

of the Panama Air Force

History

The unit was formed in 1931, when the decision was made to replace the Panama navy with an air force under the control of the Guardia Nacional. Very little military flying took place until Pearl Harbor 1941, because the United States operated some Naval and Army Air Force units based in the Canal Zone. Some reorganisation took place in the 1940s and the Air Force was renamed Fuerza Aérea de la Guardia Nacional and was disbanded in 1945.

Subordinate Units

None.

Aircraft

Type Qty Service Example Serials
Travel Air Speedwing 2 1931 – 1932 1,2
Keystone K-84 Commuter 2 1931 – 1934 3,4
Travel Air 6000B 1 1933 – n/a 5
Sikorsky S-38B 1 1936 – 1937 n/a
Piper J-3F Cub 1 1940 – 1941 R-6E
Luscombe 8A Silvaire Master 1 1941 – 1942 n/a


Unit Markings

Guardia Nacional del Aire

 


Main Bases

Base Duration
Base Aérea de Paitilla/Ciudad de Panamá 1931 – 1945


Photographs

None currently available.

More Information

References

  • Central American and Caribbean Air Forces (Daniel Hagedorn)
  • Latin-American Military Aviation (John Andrade)

Other Sources

To be added.

Escuadrón de Patrulla Maritima

of the Panama Air Force

History

No unit history available.

Subordinate Units

None.

Aircraft

Type Qty Service Example Serials
CASA CN-235M 1 1988 – 1995 265


Unit Markings

Escuadrón de Patrulla Maritima

 


Main Bases

Base Duration
Tucumen IAP/Ciudad de Panamá n/a – 1995


Photographs

None currently available.

More Information

References

  • Latin-American Military Aviation (John Andrade)
  • World Air Forces Directory 2004/05 (Ian Carroll)

Other Sources

To be added.

3er Escuadrón Aéreo

of the Panama Air Force

History

The 3er Escuadrón Aéreo was formed 1988 as 3er Escuadrón de Entrenamiento y Reconocimiento Aéreo with four T-35D. In 1989 the unit received six T-35B and was renamed 3er Escuadrón de Entrenamiento, Reconocimiento y Ataque. The squadron was renamed another time at an unknown date as 3er Escuadrón Aéreo. The T-35s Pillan were refurbished with assistance of the Chilean manufacturer during 2002 and 2003.

Subordinate Units

None.

Aircraft

Type Qty Service Example Serials
Enaer T-35B/D Pillán 6/5 1988 – Present 020-029


Unit Markings

3er Escuadrón Aéreo

 


Main Bases

Base Duration
Base Aérea Teniente Coronel Jorge Jurado/Ciudad de Panamá 1988 – 1999
Tucumen IAP/Ciudad de Panamá 1999 – Present


Photographs

None currently available.

More Information

References

  • Latin-American Military Aviation (John Andrade)
  • World Air Forces Directory 2004/2005 (Ian Carroll)

Other Sources

To be added.

2do Escuadrón Aéreo

of the Panama Air Force

History

The 2do Escuadrón Aéreo was formed as 2do Escuadrón de Helicópteros on 17.5.1969 with 3 Hiller FH.1100. The unit received some UH-1 Iroquois during the following years and moved to Base Aérea Teniente Coronel Jorge Jurado (the former USAF base Albrook AFS) on 7.5.1986.

Subordinate Units

None.

Aircraft

Type Qty Service Example Serials
Fairchild Hiller FH.1100 3 1969 – 1976 101-103
Bell UH-1H Iroquois 15 1970 – Present 101,104,105,110,123-134
Bell UH-1B Iroquois 10 1970 – 1997 102,103,111-117
Bell 212 9 1975 – Present 100,101,120-125
Bell 205A Iroquois 6 1976 – Present 102,103,106-109
Bell 412 1 1984 – Present 1011,135
Aérospatiale AS-332L Super Puma 1 1985 – 1991 1012
Bell 407 2 2002 – Present 110,112
McDonnell Douglas 500E Defender 1 2008 – Present 111
Eurocopter EC145 1 2009 – Present 136


Unit Markings

2do Escuadrón Aéreo

 


Main Bases

Base Duration
Tucumen IAP/Ciudad de Panamá 1969 – 1986
Base Aérea Teniente Coronel Jorge Jurad/Ciudad de Panamá 1986 – 1999
Tucumen IAP/Ciudad de Panamá 1999 – Present


Photographs

None currently available.

More Information

References

  • Central American and Caribbean Air Forces (Daniel Hagedorn)
  • Latin-American Military Aviation (John Andrade)
  • World Air Forces Directory 2004/2005 (Ian Carroll)

Other Sources

To be added.

1er Escuadrón Aéreo

of the Panama Air Force

History

The unit was formed as 1er Escuadrón de Transporte in 1969 and later renamed 1er Escuadrón Aéreo.

Subordinate Units

None.

Aircraft

Type Qty Service Example Serials
Douglas C-47A Skytrain 4 1969 – 1984 201-204
Douglas DC-6BF 1 1970 – 1975 401
de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 3 1971 – 1988 205,210,230
de Havilland DHC-3 Otter 6 1972 – 1988 301-306
Convair CV-580 1 1973 – n/a 206
Lockheed L-188C Electra 1 1973 – 1987 400
Britten-Norman BN-2A Islander 3 1975 – Present 207-209
Cessna 402B Utililiner 1 1977 – 1981 209
Cessna 404 Titan 1 1977 – 1981 211
Cessna 172 Skyhawk 2 1978 – n/a 007,012
Piper PA-31 Navajo 4 1978 – Present 200,201,209,300
Short Skyvan 1 1978 – 1988 300
Beech 95 Baron 1 1979 – n/a 600
Aero Commander 560A Commander 1 n/a – n/a 506
Aero Commander 690B Commander 1 1981 – 1988 235
Piper PA-32 Cherokee 1 1982 – 1991 208
Piper PA-34 Seneca 1 1982 – Present 212
CASA 212 Aviocar 6 1982 – Present 215,220,225,250,255,260
Cessna 206 Stationair 1 1984 – 1991 008
Aero Commander 695A Commander 1 1987 – 1997 018
Cessna 152 Aerobat 2 2003 – Present 010,011
Cessna 210 Centurion 1 2004 – Present 017
Rockwell Commander 1121 1 2007 – Present 301


Unit Markings

1er Escuadrón Aéreo

 


Main Bases

Base Duration
Tucumen IAP/Ciudad de Panamá 1969 – Present


Photographs

None currently available.

More Information

References

  • Central American and Caribbean Air Forces (Daniel Hagedorn)
  • Latin-American Military Aviation (John Andrade)
  • World Air Forces Directory 2004/2005 (Ian Carroll)

Other Sources

To be added.