If we talk about the origins of Transport Aviation in Venezuela, we have to go back to March 12, 1948, when the fighter group was established with both headquarters at the Boca de Ro air base (now the Mariscal Sucre school base) 9 and the bombing and transport group No. 10. With the activation of the latter and in particular its cargo side, Transport Squadron No. 1, T-1, the history of this specialty in Venezuelan military aviation began.
Very soon the men of the T-1 showed their good work and high level of training by handling the materials that the national government of the United States had acquired, which consisted of twelve Douglas C-47s and one C-54 the latter being better known as the sacred cow intended for the use of the President of the Republic. In 1951 the Air Force was restructured, and as a result of this, the air groups were eliminated and the squadrons formed, which they integrated as autonomous units in direct dependencies of the General Aviation Command.
In the meantime, the T-1 continued its activities uninterrupted and completed numerous missions at home and abroad. Among them, it is worth highlighting the one carried out in December 1956, when twelve twin-engined C-47 engines took off for the Peruvian capital, Lima, to transport the delegation of the armed forces that took part in the reopening of Plaza Bolivar city. And as a curious fact it must be said that this year eighteen C-47s were displayed in the memorial ceremony of the Air Force along with the other airborne units of the institution.
As the air transport capacity became inadequate over time, the purchase of new aircraft had to be considered, particularly a model that could carry fifty passengers, launch paratroopers, mobilize large amounts of cargo and enjoy eight hours of autonomy. It was clear from the start that the Fairchild C-123 met all of these conditions, which is why eighteen units were purchased at a cost of eight hundred thousand dollars per aircraft, which was largely economical for Venezuela at the time.
Again the years passed and with it new peremptories were raised. Taking into account parameters such as the need to expand the movement of loads over long distances in the shortest possible time, and the logistical support of the large parts and spare parts supply centers for the modern weapon systems of the Air Force, he decided to purchase the Loockheed C after an analysis of the market availability -130 aircraft of the H-model as a replacement for the indefatigable and noble C-47. Given the appropriate steps, the first Hercules (acronym 4951) of a group of four landed in Venezuela on March 25, 1971.
Once again, the passage of time led the commanders of the Air Force to seek relief from the effective, but already very tired, C-123 and, for the first time, found the answer not in North American industry, but across the Atlantic in Italy. In 1983 it was decided to purchase the Aeritalia G-222, which contains this flight material, in August of the following year.
The air groups then returned to the Venezuelan Air Force’s organizational charts. Transport Group No. 6 is headquartered at the El Libertador Air Force Base in Palo Negro, Aragua state. It consists of the already experienced No. 1 Transport Wing with six Hercules C-130H, No. 2 Transport Wing with eight G-222 and No. 67 Maintenance Wing. DEFENSE, who have already had the opportunity to travel in aircraft of this brilliant unit and now undertook an unforgettable journey from Palo Negro to Maracaibo with stops in Barquisimeto and San Antonio del Tchira. Major Rubn Alvarado was at the helm. We thank this crew of the C-130H, registration 5320, and Transport Group 6 in general.
Text: Ricardo L. F0551 SANTOS
Print: Michelangelo RED CHAPEL
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