Air Force of Zimbabwe
The Air Force of Zimbabwe is the aviation wing of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces. Its current commander is Air Marshal Elson Moyo who took over from Retired Air Chief Marshall Perrance Shiri who was appointed Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement by President Emmerson Mnangagwa. The Air Force has three major air bases in Zimbabwe; Manyame Air Base in Harare and Thornhill Air Base in Gweru and Field Air Force Base, in Chegutu, which is home to air defence and regimental training.| Air Force 2018 Recruitment Scan_Mar_27,_2018.pdf
Functions of the Commander Air Force of Zimbabwe (Comd AFZ)
The Commander of AFZ is a member of the Defence Policy Council. His/Her responsibilities include the following:
- Defending Zimbabwe's Airspace.
- Providing an effective counter-strike force.
- Providing close air support to ground forces.
- Supporting civil powers to maintain law and order.
- Providing search and rescue and casualty evacuations.
- Providing VIP and VVIP transport.
- Performing ceremonial fly-pasts.
Commanders Of The Air Force of Zimbabwe
- Air Chief Marshal Norman Walsh 1981 - 1983
- Air Chief Marshal Azim Daudpota 1983- 1986
- Air Chief Marshal Josiah Tungamirai 1986-1992
- Air Chief Marshal Perrance Shiri 1992-2017
- Air Marshal Elson Moyo 2017-
In 1939 an Air Unit was started, later becoming the South Rhodesian Air Force. In the Southern Rhodesian Air Force, serials SR1 - SR139 were used. In 1953 Rhodesia and Nyasaland formed a federation and in 1954 the Air Force was named Rhodesian Air Force, shortly after that to be renamed to Royal Rhodesian Air Force. This meant that serials all started with RRAF during that period. 
In 1980 the Airforce of Zimbabwe (AFZ) was formed after the integration of the three belligerent forces, The Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA), and the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army, ( ZIPRA), on one side and the Rhodesian Air Force on the other. 
Air Marshal Elson Moyo - Photo Credit: Image Credit Herald
Air Vice Marshal Shebba Shumbayaonda
Air Vice Marshal Michael Tedzani Moyo - Photo Credit: Herald
Air Vice Marshal Jacob Nzvede
Air Vice Marshal Jasper Garikayi Marangwanda
LIST IS NOT COMPLETE
The AFZ's rank structure is similar to the RAF's rank structure from where, via the Rhodesian Air Force, its ranks were derived.
In descending order, the AFZ officer ranks are:
- Air Chief Marshal (removed from hierarchy after Josiah Tungamirai)
- Air Marshal equivalent to Lieutenant-General in the Zimbabwe National Army
- Air Vice Marshal equivalent to Major-General in the Zimbabwe National Army
- Air Commodore equivalent to Brigadier-General (or just Brigadier) in the Zimbabwe National Army
- Group Captain equivalent to Colonel in the Zimbabwe National Army
- Wing Commander equivalent to Lieutenant-Colonel in the Zimbabwe National Army
- Squadron Leader equivalent to Major in the Zimbabwe National Army
- Flight Lieutenant equivalent to Captain in the Zimbabwe National Army
- Air Lieutenant equivalent to Lieutenant in the Zimbabwe National Army
- Air Sub Lieutenant equivalent to Second Lieutenant in the Zimbabwe National Army
In descending order, the AFZ airmen ranks are:
- Warrant Officer Class I equivalent to Warrant Officer Class I in the Zimbabwe National Army
- Warrant Officer Class II equivalent to Warrant Officer Class II in the Zimbabwe National Army
- Master Sergeant
- Flight Sergeant equivalent to Staff Sergeant in the Zimbabwe National Army
- Sergeant equivalent to Sergeant in the Zimbabwe National Army
- Corporal equivalent to Corporal in the Zimbabwe National Army
- Senior Aircraftman equivalent to Lance Corporal in the Zimbabwe National Army
- Leading Aircraftman
- Aircraftman equivalent to Private in the Zimbabwe National Army
In 1998, the Air Force of Zimbabwe was composed as follows.
|1st Squadron (CS Panzer)||Gweru||6 x Hunter FGA Mk.9, 1 x Hunter T.Mk.81||Fighters - 5 purchased from Kenya in 1980.|
|2nd Squadron (CS Cobra) Jet Fighter Training School||Gweru||11 x Hawk Mk 60||Fighter/trainer - 10 operation of 13 purchased.|
|3rd Squadron (CS Falcon)||Harare, Manyame||11 x C.212-200, 5 x BN-2A||Light transport - all operational.|
|4th Squadron (CS Hornet)||Gweru||15 x FTB.337G||Lynx (push/pull) - Advanced trainers and light strikers.|
|5th Squadron (CS Arrow)||Gweru||11 x F-7IN/11N||Interceptors - six to seven operational of 12 purchased in 1980s|
|6th Squadron (CS Tiger)||Gweru||8 x SF. 260M, 12 x SF.260C/W, 6 x SF.260TP/F||Light strikers - 27 available, used primarily for basic and advanced flight training.|
|7th Squadron (CS Spider)||Harare, Manyame||20 to 25 x SA.316B||Allouette helicopters - 20 available including ex-Portuguese Air Force aircraft.|
|8th Squadron (CS Scorpion)||Harare, Manyame||8 x AB.412SP||Bell helicopters - 6 operational.|
- ↑ Air Force of Zimbabwe, Scramble - Dutch Aviation Society, Published: Unknown , Retrieved: 14 Nov 2017
- ↑ AIR FORCE OF ZIMBABWE, Ministry of Defence, Published: Unknown , Retrieved:15 November 2015
- ↑ [Tom Cooper, Great Lakes Conflagration: The Second Congo War, 1998-2003], Hellion and Company Ltd, (Hellion and Company Ltd, Solihull, 2013), Retrieved: 4 October 2022