Romanian Air Force Mission
Romanian Air Force Structure
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|THE COLD WAR|
Starting with 1948, Romania was forced to tailor its military to Soviet concepts and doctrine which meant a large and deep process affecting military aviation as well. On 15th February 1949, the Aviation Command was established based on the Soviet model (regiments instead of flotillas). In June 1949, in accordance with General Staff Order no. 45790, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Air Regiments were established, subordinated to 1st Air Division, and also the 4th Air Strike, 5th Air Reconnaissance and 6th Air Mixed Regiments, subordinated to 2nd Air Division, later that year. Each air division included three homogenous or mixed regiments. Besides those organic regiments there were also 7th Air Liaison Regiment, 8th Airlift and 9th Air Rear Regiments, deployed on Giulesti airfield and under direct command and control of Aviation Command.
On April 1st, 1950 the General Staff issued Order no. 12113 which changed the name of the military aviation into Military Air Forces, and the Command - Military Air Forces Command.
New Soviet airplanes entered the service such as: IAK-18, PO-2, LA-9, TU-2 and IL-10. A year later, 77 airplanes IAK-17 and IAK-23 entered in Military Air Forces inventory , and in 1952, other 88 airplanes: MiG-15, MiG-15 bis and S-102. After Romania's integration into Warsaw Treaty, Romanian Military Air Force Command included 5 air divisions and 1 technical division, i.e. 97th Air Division (the first large unit having IAK-23 jet aircraft), 23rd and 66th Fighter Divisions, 68th Air Strike Division, 87th Air Mixed Division and 34th Technical Division. Each operational division had a radio battalion and a radio maintenance company. By the end of 1952, all fighter divisions received jet aircraft in their inventory. Major Dumitru Balaur, flying an IAK-23 aircraft, performed the first night, heavy weather real interception on 28th October 1952.
In September 1956, the Territorial Air Defense Command was established as a result of a new restructuring process ordered by the Soviets and it operated until May 1977.
In 1958, the first supersonic fighter MIG-19 entered the Romanian Military Air Forces inventory. Three years later, in February 1962, a new fighter was added to its inventory, MiG-21 F13, which represented one of the most effective fighters of that time and entered the inventory of the 93rd Fighter Regiment.
Starting with 1974, Romanian-made aircraft supplemented the already existing jets. The Romanian IAR-93 subsonic aircraft flew its first flight on 31st October 1974, with Lieutenant Colonel Gheorghe Stanica as a pilot. It represented a great step forward taking into account that it was the only jet fighter not made by the Soviets, the only one ever manufactured and operated by a Warsaw Treaty country.
In 1962, the first helicopter subunits were established and followed later on, in 1965, by the first Soviet Mi-2 and Mi-4 helicopter unit.
Military Air Force structure changed in 1977 becoming the Military Aviation, and the Military Aviation Command was established on the 1st May 1977. This was a specialized body of the Ministry of Defense aiming at air forces training and combat employment, concept development concerning flight organization, training, planning and coordination within Romanian airspace, personnel training and specific combat equipment acquisition. Renewing the aircraft fleet process went on, the first 12 MIG-23 aircraft entering the service between July-September 1979.
Flying and technical personnel training was carried out in specialized schools such as Air Force Officer School "Aurel Vlaicu", established in 1953 in Tecuci and moved later to Boboc, and Air Force Technical School "Traian Vuia" (1954) which became Air Non-Commissioned Technical Officer School "Traian Vuia" located in Medias.
and Military Technical Academy performed academic training of Air Force
personnel. Starting with 1976, students groomed in these establishments
trained in specialities such as: plane and plane engines, power supplies,
avionics, radio and radar equipment, weapon systems.
Through Governmental Decree no.419/23.10.1972 and Ministers Council Decision no.1303/1.11.1972 civil aviation became part of Ministry of Defense and named Civil Aviation Command - TAROM. It included medical evacuation, air clubs, and also 3 centers and 26 meteorological stations taken over from Ministry of Agriculture.
On 6th April
1976 Civil Aviation Command - TAROM became Civil Aviation Department also
under Ministry of Defense Control.
On 14th May 1981, at 20.16, Soviet spaceship "Soiuz-40" was launched from Baikonur to perform a common Romanian-Soviet flight, with First Lieutenant eng. Dumitru Prunariu and Colonel Leonid Popov as commander on board. The Romanian officer made for 7 days various scientific experiments on board of orbital complex Saliut-6 - Soiuz-40 returning to Earth on 22 May 1981.
In December 1989, just few days before the revolution against communism began, MIG-29 aircraft had entered the Air Force inventory.
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