By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Twenty-eight pass since Azerbaijan set up its first air force unit.
Since its establishment in 1992 when Azerbaijan was a war-torn country fighting for its territorial integrity, the Azerbaijani Air Forces have shifted dramatically in the past two decades becoming the strongest in the South Caucasus. Today, Azerbaijan Air Forces include a mixed aviation regiment, a fighter-bomber squadron, and also a fighter, reconnaissance and training air squadron.
The Azerbaijani Armed Forces have hundreds of well-trained pilots who are considered to have completed the largest number of flights in the CIS. Azerbaijan has an exchange of experience with the U.S., Turkey, Ukraine and other NATO countries. Turkish Air Force School plays a great role in the training of the military pilots.
Azerbaijani pilots are mainly trained at the Higher Military Aviation School of Azerbaijan.
Today, the Air Forces and Air Defense Troops possess state-of-the-art airplanes and helicopters and are fully capable of defending the country’s air space.
By presidential decree of 14 September 1992, 14 February 1992 was declared the country's Air Force Day.
However, the history of Azerbaijan’s Air Force goes back to 26 June 1918, when the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR) bought its first military aircraft.
In 1919, the first military aircraft appeared in service with the army of ADR. Soon, the ADR Minister of War ordered the creation of an Aviation Group in the army.
During the years of WW2, fighting as part of the USSR Air Force, Azerbaijani pilots contributed to the victory.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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