Military Wiki
Ghana Air Force
Ensign of the Ghana Air Force.svg
Ghana Air Force Ensign
Founded 1959
Country Ghana
Size 39 aircraft (on inventory)
24 aircraft flying (in 2012)
Part of Ghanaian Ministry of Defence and Central Defence Headquarters
Air Force HQ Accra
Chief of the Air Staff Air Vice Marshal M. Samson-Oje
Roundel Roundel Ghana.svg
Aircraft flown
Attack Aermacchi MB-339
Trainer Aero L-39 Albatros Hongdu K-8 Karakorum
Transport EADS CASA C-295 Fokker F28 Fellowship

The Ghana Air Force (GAF) is the air force of the Republic of Ghana. The GAF, along with the Ghanaian Army and Navy, make up the armed forces of Ghana which are controlled by that nation's Ministry of Defence.


The Ghana Air Force started on 24 July 1959 as a Flying Training School with Israeli instructors and technicians. The School was established as a cradle of a service to complement the Army and the Navy. Later that year a headquarters was established in Accra under the command of Indian Air commodore Jaswant Singh who was appointed as the first Chief of Air Staff (CAS).[1]

In 1960 Royal Air Force personnel took up the task of training the newly established Ghana Air Force and in 1961 they were joined by a small group of Royal Canadian Air Force personnel. In September 1961 as part of President Kwame Nkrumah's Africanization program, a Ghanaian CAS was appointed, with the first being J.E.S. de Graft-Hayford. Although born in the U.K. he was of Ghanaian descent. The Ghana Air Force was in the beginning equipped with a squadron of Chipmunk trainers, and squadrons of Beavers, Otters and Caribou transport aircraft. In addition a DH125 jet was bought for Kwame Nkrumah, Hughes helicopters were bought for mosquito spraying plus DH Doves and Herons. Whirlwind helicopters and a squadron of MB 326 ground attack/trainer jets were also purchased. In 1962 the national school of gliding was set up by Hanna Reitsch, who was once Adolf Hitler's top personal pilot. Under the command of Air Commodore de Graft-Hayford, she served as director, operations instructor and trainer of the school. She also acted as the personal pilot of Kwame Nkrumah from 1962-1966.


The GAF headquarters and main transport base are located in Accra, close to Kotoka International Airport. Other air bases include:

  • Tamale.
  • Sekondi-Takoradi.

Air Force Base, Sekondi-Takoradi, started as Ghana Air Force, Sekondi-Takoradi, on 1 March 1961. The Chipmunk Basic Trainer Aircraft was the first aircraft used at the Station with an all Rank Air Force Station.

  • Accra.

The Air Force Base, Accra, came into being soon after the Royal Air Force (RAF) had taken over the administration from the Indian and Israeli Air Force officers at the beginning of 1961. The station was housed at No 3 hangar at the Accra Airport (Kotoka International Airport) with hardly any aircraft. The Unit had four main sub-units, i.e. the Administration Wing, Flying Wing, Technical Wing and Equipment Wing. The School of Technical Training was also located at this station. The Station moved from No 3 hangar to its present location in Burma Camp towards the end of 1965.[1]


The role of the Ghana Air Force, as defined in the National Defense Policy, is to provide “Air Transport and Offensive Air Support to the Ghana Armed Forces and to protect the territorial air space of Ghana”. The National Defense Policy further states certain specific tasks, which the Ghana Air Force is expected to perform. These tasks are as follows:

  • To maintain Fighter Ground Attack capability and provide Close Air Support during operation.
  • To provide transport support to the Ghana Armed Forces.
  • To provide surveillance over the air space of Ghana and over the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
  • To provide liaison and recce flight capability.
  • To provide VIP flight capability.
  • To provide transport support for civilians as government directs.
  • To provide medical evacuation and air rescue assistance.

The Ghana Air Force is also responsible for the co-ordination and direction of Search and Rescue (SAR) within the Accra Flight Information Region.[1]

Aircraft Inventory

Ghanaian Mil Mi 17

The Ghana Air Force has 24 aircraft in service, including 4 trainer/light attack jets and 9 helicopters.[2]

Aircraft Country of origin Type Versions In service Notes
Aermacchi MB-339  Italy Trainer MB-339A none 4 grounded [3]
Aero L-39 Albatros  Czechoslovakia Trainer
L-39ZO none 2 grounded [3]
Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander  United Kingdom Utility Transport BN-2 1[4]
Cessna 172 Skyhawk United States Utility 3
Diamond Da42  Austria Surveillance Da42M 3[5]
Falcon 900B  France VIP 1 Presidential Aircraft
EADS CASA C-295  Spain Transport 2[6]
Fokker F28 Fellowship  Netherlands Passenger Transport F28-3000 1
Hongdu K-8 Karakorum  China/ Pakistan Trainer/Attack K-8 4[7]
Mil Mi-17 Hip-H  Soviet Union
Transport Helicopter Mi-17 4 [8] 4-6 on order [4][9]
Aérospatiale SA-319 Alouette III  France Utility Helicopter SA-319B 2
Agusta A109  Italy Utility Helicopter A109 2
Bell 412 United States Transport Helicopter 412SP 1
Alenia C-27J Spartans  Italy Transport EC-27 Jedi 4 [10] 4 on order [10]

Former Aircraft

Chiefs of Air Staff

The senior appointment in the GAF is the Chief of Air Staff. The following is a list of the Ghana Air Force Chiefs of Air Staff:[12]

Rank Structure

The GAF's rank structure is similar to the RAF's rank structure from where its ranks were derived.


In descending order of importance the GAF officer ranks are:[1]


In descending order of importance the GAF airman ranks are:[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ghana air force.
  2. Order of Battle - Ghana.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Defence Equipment & Technology.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ghana to take delivery of Mi-17s
  5. Air Force gets Diamond Da42 Planes.
  6. Ghana Air Force receives second C295 aircraft.
  7. Ghana military aviation OrBat.
  8. Ghana takes delivery of C-295; to receive Mi-17 helicopters
  9. Ghana’s air force to take delivery of Mi-171s.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Air International November 2009, p.21", DID C-27J Spartans for Ghana.
  11. Veep Commissions CASA -C295 Aircraft Into Armed Forces Service. Ghanaian Times.
  12. "Past Chiefs of Air Staff". Official website. Ghana Armed Forces. 2008-02-06. Retrieved 2008-11-02. 
  13. Military Air Vice-Marshal.
  14. "New Military Chiefs Take Over Command". General News of Monday, 26 March 2001. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-06-19. 
  15. "Immediate Past Chief of Air Staff - Ghana Air Force". Official website. Ghana Armed Forces. 22 April 2005. Retrieved 2007-06-11. 
  16. "Chief of Air Staff - Ghana Air Force". Official website. Ghana Armed Forces. 21 May 2005. Retrieved 2007-06-11. 
  17. "Military Reshuffle: More changes". General News of Saturday, 21 May 2005. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-06-11. 
  18. "Shake-up in Ghana Armed Forces". Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  • World Aircraft Information Files. Brightstar Publishing, London. File 338 Sheet 03

External links

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