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The mysterious C-145 from Costa Rica surplus to the United States Air Force

In 2016, the US offered Costa Rica two surplus Mielec C-145A Combat Coyote (M28 Skytruck) PZLs to the US Air Force (USAF) as part of the EDA (Excess Defense Articles) program. Details were disclosed when an EDA report was released on October 27, 2016 and the USAF received approval on August 15, 2016 to ship two C-145As worth $ 3 million each to Costa Rica. 2016.

By this time the USAF Special Operations Command (AFSOC) had reduced its C-145A fleet to five aircraft. Another nine models had been stored at the 309 Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, in 2015, and some of the models were handed over directly to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

The C-145A Skytruck is a variant of the PZL M28 Skytruck light twin-engine aircraft manufactured by Polskie Zaklady Lotnicze (PZL) Mielec, a Poland-based Sikorsky company. The C-145A Skytruck is a light troop and cargo transport aircraft operated by the US Air Force (USAF) Special Operations Squadron. The C-145As were deployed to support special operations commandos in Afghanistan and East Africa. The Air Force Special Operations Warfare Center operated up to ten C-145A Skytrucks by 2015 and deployed another six. AFSOC retired 11 C-145As in 2013 and these were offered to US allies. Estonia will receive the first of two C-145As in 2019, two in Costa Rica, while Kenya accepted six aircraft and Nepal two. AFSOC keeps five aircraft for flight crew training. The Salvadoran Air Force (FAS) were offered five, but for some reason no one would surrender. It is possible that these will be the five from the AFSOC that will be broadcast once they are unloaded.

The C-145A Skytruck was originally acquired to support non-standard aviation missions in 2009. He was deployed to AFSOC’s 318th Special Operations Squadron under the first Special Operations Wing in March 2011, and transferred from Special Operations to the 919th Special Operations Wing at Duke Field in January 2013, where he served from the 6th Special Operations Squadron until his retirement was operated in April 2013.

Deliveries to Costa Rica were expected in mid-2017, according to EDA, both ships were delivered in 2018. Certainly 12-0337 and 12-0336 have been observed from Juan Santamaria de San Jos International Airport since November 2018, but in their civilian colors adopted by the USAF instead of the colors of the Costa Rican Air Monitoring Service. As far as is known, the ships remain in Costa Rica, but in their original colors and numbers, so that they are still in the hands of the USAF. (Julio Montes)

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