AIR FORCE OF ZIMBABWE HISTORY
The Air force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) was formed in 1980 after the integration of the three belligerent forces, The Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army ( ZANLA), and the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army, ( ZIPRA), on one side and the Rhodesian Air Force on the other. Over the past 25 years the Air Force of Zimbabwe has developed into a highly effective tactical force with the constitutional responsibility of defending Zimbabwe's air space against foreign incursion. This non- aggression policy has seen the AFZ performing the following roles to safeguard Zimbabwe's territorial integrity and independence:
- Defending Zimbabwe's Airspace.
- providing an effective counter strike force.
- Providing close air support to ground forces.
- Supporting civil powers to maintain law and order.
- Providing search and rescue and casualty evacuations.
- Providing VIP and VVIP transport.
- Performing ceremonial fly-pasts.
ORGANISATION OF THE AIRFORCE OF ZIMBABWE
Air Marshal Perrance Shiri who took over from the late Rtd Air Chief Marshal Josiah Tungamirai in 1992 commands the Air Force of Zimbabwe. The Air Force Commander reports to the Commander Defence Forces. Below him are two Chiefs of Staff who head the divisional responsibilities of Operations and Supporting Services assisted by Director Generals responsible for Operations, Supporting Services and Inspectorate. Functional departments of Operations, Training, Engineering, Administration, Regiment, Inspectorate, Medical Services and three operational bases namely, Manyame Air Base, Thornhill Air Base and Field Air Force Base support the Command element.
MANYAME AIR BASE
Manyame Air Base situated in Harare is the principal air force establishment and provides facilities for aircraft squadrons of differing roles, training schools for technicians, staff and academic training and security dog handlers. A full range of amenities, which include workshops, transport fleets, equipment depots, accommodation, sports and entertainment facilities, support the base. Group Captain A Nhamoinesu commands the Base.
THORNHILL AIR BASE
Thornhill Air Base, in Gweru, is home to air force fighter squadrons and the Pilot Training School.
A full range of amenities and services, which include Workshops, transport fleets, equipment depots, and accommodation, sporting and entertainment facilities, support the base. Group Captain N M Chasakara commands the base.
FIELD AIRFORCE BASE
Field Air Force Base is home to air defence and regimental training. The base is also tasked with anti air artillery and radar systems training. Like all other air force bases, a full range of amenities, which include workshops, transport fleets, equipment depots, accommodation, sporting and entertainment facilities support the base. Group Captain R Sango commands the base.