Ghana Air Force
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Ghana Air Force

Ghana Air Force
Country Ghana
AllegianceConstitution of Ghana
TypeAir Force
RoleAerial warfare
Size24 aircraft[1]
Part ofGAF - Ghana Armed Forces.png Ghana Armed Forces
GHF HQBurma Camp
Chief of the Air StaffAir Vice Marshal Frank Hanson
RoundelRoundel of Ghana.svg
Fin flashFlag of Ghana.svg
FlagAir Force Ensign of Ghana.svg
Aircraft flown
FighterEmbraer EMB 314 Super Tucano
PatrolDiamond DA42 Twin Star
TrainerHongdu K-8 Karakorum
TransportEADS CASA C-295
Fokker F28 Fellowship

The Ghana Air Force (GHF) is the aerial warfare organizational military branch of the Ghanaian Armed Forces (GAF). The GHF, along with the Ghanaian army (GA) and Ghanaian navy (GN), make up the Ghanaian Armed Forces (GAF) which are controlled by the Ghanaian Ministry of Defence (MoD).


The GHF (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).[2] 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. British-made Westland Whirlwind helicopters and a squadron of Italian-made 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 GHF headquarters and main transport airfield are located in Accra, close to Kotoka International Airport. Other GHF airfields include:

GHF Air Force Station, Sekondi-Takoradi, started as RAF Station Takoradi, then it became Ghana Air Force Station, 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.

The GHF Air Force station, 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.[2]


President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an inspecting the Ghana Air Force guard of honour at The Flagstaff House (now the Jubilee House), 1 March 2016.

The role of the Ghana Air Force, as defined in the National Defence 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.[2]


Current inventory

A Ghanaian special forces team board a Mi-17 helicopter
Ghana's Fokker F27 Friendship
Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
EMB 314 Super Tucano Brazil light attack / COIN 5 on order[3]
Diamond DA42 Austria surveillance 2[4]
EADS CASA C-295 Spain utility / transport 3[4]
Fokker F27 Netherlands transport 1[4]
Bell 412 United States utility 1[4]
Mil Mi-17 Russia utility / transport Mi-17/171 7 6 on order[4]
Harbin Z-9 China utility 4[4]
AgustaWestland AW109 Italy light utility 2[4]
Trainer Aircraft
Hongdu K-8 China jet trainer 4[4]
Diamond DA42 Austria multi engine trainer 1[4]

Retired aircraft

A former Short SC.7 Skyvan from the GHF
Aircraft Origin Type In service Notes
Combat Aircraft
Aermacchi MB-339 Italy light attack 4[5] placed in storage
Short Skyvan United Kingdom transport 2[5] overhaul in 2004, later retired from service
BN-2T Islander United Kingdom transport 4[5] retired from service
Cessna 172 United States liaison / utility 3[5] retired from service
Bell 212 United Kingdom utility 2[5] placed in storage
Alouette III France light utility 5[5] retired from service
Trainer Aircraft
Aero L-39ZO Czech Republic jet trainer 2[5] retired from service

Chiefs of Air Staff

The senior appointment in the GHF is the Chief of Air Staff. The following is a list of the Ghana Air Force Chiefs of Air Staff:[6]

Rank structure

Honor Guards with M-16s from GHF (Ghana Air Force)

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

Commissioned officers
NATO code
OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 OF(D) and student officer
Ghana Ghana
No equivalent 16.Ghana Air Force-GEN.svg 15.Ghana Air Force-LG.svg 14.Ghana Air Force-MG.svg 13.Ghana Air Force-BG.svg 12.Ghana Air Force-COL.svg 11.Ghana Air Force-LTC.svg 10.Ghana Air Force-MAJ.svg 09.Ghana Air Force-CPT.svg 08.Ghana Air Force-1LT.svg 07.Ghana Air Force-2LT.svg No equivalent
Air Chief Marshal Air Marshal Air Vice-Marshal Air Commodore Group Captain Wing Commander Squadron Leader Flight Lieutenant Flying Officer Pilot Officer
NATO code
OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
Ghana Ghana
06.Ghana Air Force-WO1.svg 05.Ghana Air Force-WO2.svg 04.Ghana Air Force-FSG.svg 03.Ghana Air Force-SGT.svg No equivalent 02.Ghana Air Force-CPL.svg No equivalent 01.Ghana Air Force-LACM.svg No insignia
Warrant Officer Class I Warrant Officer Class II Flight Sergeant Sergeant Corporal Leading Aircraftsman Aircraftsman


  1. ^ "World Air Forces 2014". Flightglobal Insight. 2014. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  2. ^ a b c Ghana air force.
  3. ^ "Embraer Defense & Security sells five A-29 Super Tucano to the Ghana Air Force". Retrieved 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "World Air Forces 2017". Flightglobal Insight. 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "World Air Forces 2004 pg, 59". Flightglobal I. 2004. Retrieved 2014.
  6. ^ "Past Chiefs of Air Staff". Official website. Ghana Armed Forces. 6 February 2008. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 2008.
  7. ^ Military Air Vice-Marshal Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ "Immediate Past Chief of Air Staff - Ghana Air Force". Official website. Ghana Armed Forces. 22 April 2005. Archived from the original on 7 January 2008. Retrieved 2007.
  9. ^ "Chief of Air Staff - Ghana Air Force". Official website. Ghana Armed Forces. 21 May 2005. Archived from the original on 27 August 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  10. ^ a b c Mahama, makes changes at the military hierarchy. "Mahama makes changes at the military hierarchy". Multimedia Group. Archived from the original on 1 August 2017. Retrieved 2017.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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