The Columbian Ministerio de Defensa Nacional (Ministry of Defence) oversees the Fuerzas Militares de Columbia (Military Forces of Colombia) air forces among the most powerful in Latin America, comprising of four branches: the Fuerza Aérea Colombiana (FAC -Colombian Air Force), Armada Nacional de la República de Colombia (ARC - Colombian National Navy), Ejército Nacional de Colombia (EJC - Colombian National Army) and Policía Nacional de Colombia (PNC - National Police of Colombia). Combined, the air divisions are all very powerful, and contribute to the biggest combined aviation force in the world. Columbian air power traces its roots back over a century. Air Forces of Latin America – Columbia is the fifth volume in this series and does a great job highlighting this impressive air power.
Author Santiago Rivas is a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina and has worked since 1997 as an aviation and defense journalist across Latin America. His first book, about the Malvinas/Falklands War, was published in 2007. Since then, he has had another eighteen books published in Argentina, Brazil, Austria, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. He also has articles in over fifty magazines spanning twenty countries. His impressive and extensive credentials are obvious in the pages of this easy to digest book, replete with amazing color photographs.
This is a great book to learn about the airframes, missions, and development of the Columbian air arms. Each chapter begins with a history of the aviation force to be covered, followed with clear, crisp, and detailed photos of very appealing aircraft.
The book is presented logically, composing the following five chapters:
- Columbian Air Force
- Columbian Naval Aviation
- Columbian Army Aviation
- Columbian National Police
- Orders of Battle
Columbia’s extensive air power is experienced with almost 60 years of operations against internal threats (insurgents and drug traffickers), but also as a counter to the threat from Venezuela, whose government openly supports the guerillas and drug traffickers. The aircraft in the Columbian inventory are vast, diverse and photogenic, among them are the IAI Kfir, AC-47 Fantasma, Beechcraft T-6, Schweizer SA-2-37B Vampiro, Super Tucano, A-37 Dragones, Boeing 727, 737, and KC-767, C-130, Airbus CN-235 and C-295, IAI 201 Arava, CASA C-212, UAVs and miscellaneous utility and business aircraft. Helicopters include Huey, Huey II, UH-60, AH-60, Apria III (AH-60 variant), Dauphins.
This book is a boon for modelers seeking to build a diverse array of Columbian aircraft. The book itself is worth the price for the great photography of its subjects. It is hard to not come away impressed with the capabilities of Columbian air power. For modellers and readers used to the mainstream aviation, this is a grateful, fun and knowledgeable departure from the normal. Kudos to Santiago Rivas for bringing this book on a little-known niche of aviation to market. Now I must source some Columbian FAC decals for my IAI Kfir model.
Profuse thanks to Casemate Publishers ;and IPMS-USA for providing the review sample.
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