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Chilean Air Force
(Fuerza Aérea de Chile--FACh)

The world's fourth oldest independent military air arm in existence, the Chilean Air Force (Fuerza Aérea de Chile--FACh) predated its United States counterpart by seventeen years and became the most United States-oriented of the three Chilean Armed Forces. With a total strength of 12,800 personnel and 120 combat aircraft, the FACh is organized into the Combat Command, the Personnel Command, and the Logistical Command. FACh aircraft are deployed among four air brigades with a total of five wings (alas) and twelve groups (grupos de aviación) or squadrons. The Air Brigade (Brigada Aérea) is the main operational formation, and the wing is an administrative unit generally concentrated at a single base wing (ala base).

The Second Air Brigade, based in Los Cerrillos, Santiago, covers the region southward from the Río Huasco to the Río Bío-Bío and consists of the Second Wing (Ala 2), which combines the Second Group (Grupo 2) with the existing Tenth Group (Grupo 10) and Eleventh Group (Grupo 11). The Second Wing includes GAA 31 and GCE 32. The Second Group in Los Cerrillos is a special unit operating Canberra PR-9s in the Reconnaissance Squadron (Escuadrilla de Reconocimiento) and Beech 99As in the Electronic War Squadron (Escuadrilla de Guerra Electrónica). The Second Group's inventory includes the two Gates Learjet 35As of the Aerial Photogrammetric Service (Servicio Aéreo de Fotogrametría--SAF) that are based at Los Cerrillos.

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Updated Friday, September 11, 1998 6:07:55 AM