Historical overview on the creation and development of the Air Force Command
The creation of the Algerian military aviation was neither the result of a particular circumstance nor the initiative of a single person but the outcome of a global strategy having for goal to develop and diversify the means of fight of the People's National Army against the French occupying forces. It came in application of the decisions of the Soummam Congress held on august 20th
, 1956 which recommended the working out of a long term plan to form a modern army.
From 1958 to 1962:
Inside the revolution command, a structure was created to receive Algerian student of the People's National Army, among which some were sent to sister and friendly countries such as Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Ex-USSR and China, to follow a training of aircrafts pilots and aeronautics technicians.
During this period, the colonial army had started the lines of Challe and Morrice used to isolate the Moudjahidine inside the country and to stop supplies coming from sister countries. Then, came the idea to train transport and helicopter pilots to ensure the supplying of the national liberation army and to prepare the first core of the military aviation.
From 1962 to 1970:
Training was one of the major preoccupations of the ALN/FLN leaders. The military aviation had already a core of pilots and technicians after the independence, who laid the foundations of the present Air Force as a defense system which ensures our sovereignty on the aerial space and the integrity of the territory, side by side with the other components of the People's National Army, heir of the National Liberation Army.
In this context, the Direction of Air was born and the first air units of independent Algeria were set up:
- A flight of helicopters that was acquired during the revolution;
- A flight of combat aircrafts.
Thanks to the profitable recruiting, leaders at that time proceeded to a massive sending of trainees to sister and friendly countries while waiting for the creation of our own schools which will allow us to the undertaking of most important training and instructing of classes in various aviation categories.
That is how in 1966, the Air Base of Tafraoui in the 2nd
Military Region was built as an air officers school (EOA) where the first officer students were received for the training of pilots and technicians in aeronautics among which, some are, nowadays, commanders or have important responsibility positions in our Air Force.
From 1970 to 1980:
Due to the important events of this decade (the nationalization of hydrocarbons, conflicts in the Middle East and Western Sahara) the political leaders had to acquire modern equipment to face more and more complex missions and to create new bases to meet the requirements.
We must not omit to say that this decade witnessed the integration of women in the military aviation in the same fields as men, such as piloting supersonic aircrafts.
From 1980 until now:
Regarding the importance of the missions assigned to the military aviation, and like professional armies, the High Command decided to dissociate the Air Defense of the Territory from the Department of Air force, which was built in 1986 as an air force command with an organization more going with the new missions assigned to it.
This organization is made of the following structures:
- A central command assisted by a general staff and an inspectorate, an arms division, a department of support and specialized offices;
- Air commands in the military regions;
- Air bases, schools, training centers, support institutions, equipment renovation enterprises and defense and control units.
Since the 1990's, the Air Force carried on the ascension of their technical and operational capacities, by equipping their fleet with more efficient support and equipments to be at the level of new technologies.
Moreover, the new challenges, the dialog process undertaken by the People's National Army with the NATO and the cooperation with foreign armies pushed the Air Force Command to revise its training structure for a better adaptation of men to the new environment in which they will act.
It is in this frame that the Air Force schools were equipped with the appropriate human and pedagogical means for the training of experts able to accomplish the missions assigned to them inside the People's National Army and / or with foreign armies.