Armed Forces Overviews

Somalia Air Force (Al-Qūwāt al-Gawwīyä as-Ṣūmāl)

Other Forces

By Michiel Vermeer & Erwin van Dijkman
Somalia is a troubled country. Its origins go way back, but in modern history can be led back to British and Italian Somaliland. These were granted independence on 26 June and 1 July 1960 respectively. The boundaries however, were set by Italy and Britain and meant that the union was to be held by force rather than conviction in later years. On 15 October 1969 the president was shot and the Supreme Revolutionary Council was formed. Until then, the air force's assets were from UK and Italy mostly, but from the seventies Somalia turned to Russia for its hardware. With the 1991-2006 civil war and ensuing lawlessness and piracy, the air force basically ceased to exist in 1991. In the late nineties Federal States were formed and Somaliland, Gulmudug and Puntland were (re)born. of these, Puntland has since become a more or less stable entity with a smal aerial force of its own, see Puntland overview.

Derelict aircraft lingered on at former air force installations for quite a while, but most have vanished by now. Things are looking up a bit since the new constitution in 2012. In 2014 air force cadets were being trained in Turkey and however bleak its prospects, there are those who believe the air force will rise from the ashes someday soon.