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Macedonia: Air Force

Last modified: 2012-10-27 by ivan sache
Keywords: air force | helicopter | sword: winged (yellow) | logistical support | training |
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Presentation of the Air Force

The Military Aviation was established by Presidential Decree on 10 April 1992. In 2005, the Air Brigade was renamed Air Wing. The unit was involved in the Althea peace-keeping operation in Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina), July 2006 (medical evacuation, troop transport, border control, air patrol).

Ivan Sache, 6 January 2010


Combat Helicopter Squadron

Flag of the Helicopter Squadron

Colour of the Combat Helicopter Squadron - Image by Ivan Sache, 6 January 2010

The colour of the Combat Helicopter Squadron, as shown graphically on the website of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Macedonia, is a light blue flag in proportions 3:4. The badge of the unit is placed in the middle, surmounted by РЕПУБЛИКА МАКЕДОНИЈА ("Republic of Macedonia"), written in yellow capital Cyrillic letters, and surmounting the unit's Latin motto, ACERBUS ET INGENS ("Fierce and Mighty"), written in yellow Latin letters.

The badge of the Combat Helicopter Squadron is a disk with a "Macedonian" background and a grey helicopter shooting two white thunderbolts down to a white aim placed on a grey mountain with a white top. НОЌНИ МОЛЊИ ("Night Thunders"), the nickname of the squadron, is written in white capital Cyrillic letters in the bottom of the scene.
The badge is surrounded by a blue ring charged with the unit's name, БОРБЕН ХЕЛИКОПТЕРСКИ СКВАДРОН, and МАКЕДОНИЈА (Macedonia), written in white capital Cyrillic letters on top and bottom of the ring, respectively, and separated by six white stars on each side.

Valentin Poposki, Željko Heimer & Ivan Sache, 7 January 2010


Squadron for Logistical Support

Flag of the Squadron for Logistical Support

Colour of the Squadron for Logistical Support - Image by Ivan Sache, 6 January 2010

The colour of the Squadron for Logistical Support, as shown graphically on the website of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Macedonia, is a light blue flag in proportions 3:5. The badge of the unit is placed in the middle, surmounted by the unit's name, СКВАДРОН ЗА ВОЗДУХОПЛОВНО ТЕХНИЧКО ОБЕЗБЕДУВАЊЕ, written in yellow, shadowed (?), capital Cyrillic letters.

The badge of the Squadron for Logistical Support is a disc outlined in dark blue and divided into three sectors by a blue "Y". The upper sector is red with an helicopter, the lower left sector is yellow with a yellow cogwheel outlined in black and a gray signal curve, the lower right sector is pink-gray with a green helicopter. The disk is flanked by two golden wings.

Valentin Poposki, Željko Heimer & Ivan Sache, 7 January 2010


Training Squadron

Flag of the Training Squadron

Colour of the Training Squadron - Image by Ivan Sache, 7 January 2010

The colour of the Training Squadron, as shown graphically on the website of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Macedonia, is a blue flag in proportions 3:5.
A badge with a "Macedonian" background is placed in the upper left corner. A yellow winged sword, pointing upwards, is placed in the middle of the flag, flanked on top by РЕПУБЛИКА МАКЕДОНИЈА ("Republic of Macedonia") / ВОЗДУХОПЛОВЕН ("Air Wing") / СКВАДРОН ЗА ОБУКА И ТРЕНАЖА ("Training and Practice Squadron") in yellow capital Cyrillic letters, and, on bottom, by the Latin unit's motto "Per Aspera Ad Astra".

The Latin motto of the squadron, Per aspera ad astra ("Through Difficulties to the Stars") is used by the US state of Kansas. A similar motto, Per ardua ad astra (Through Struggle to the Stars), is used by the Royal Air Force and other Commonwealth air forces. Quoting the RAF website (page no longer online):

As far as can be ascertained, the motto of the Royal Air Force dates back to 1912 and the formation of the Royal Flying Corps (RFC). The first Commanding Officer of the RFC (Military Wing) was Colonel Frederick Sykes. He asked his officers to come up with a motto for the new service; one which would produce a strong esprit de corps. Shortly after this, two junior officers were walking from the Officers' Mess at Farnborough to Cody's Shed on Laffan Plain. As they walked, they discussed the problem of the motto and one of them, JS Yule, mentioned the phrase Sicictar ad Astra, from the Virgilian texts. He then expanded on this with the phrase Per Ardua ad Astra, which he translated as, "Through Struggles to the Stars". Colonel Sykes approved of this as the motto and forwarded it to the War Office. It was then submitted to the King, who approved its adoption.
The question of where this motto had come from can be answered by he fact that Yule had read it in a book called "People of the Mist" by Sir Henry Rider Haggard. In the first chapter was the passage, "To his right were two stately gates of iron fantastically wrought, supported by stone pillars on whose summit stood griffins of black marble embracing coats of arms and banners inscribed with the device Per Ardua ad Astra".
As to where Sir Rider Haggard obtained this phrase is still unclear although it is possible that it originated from the Irish family of Mulway who had used it as their family motto for hundreds of years and translated it as "Through Struggles to the Stars".

The yellow winged sword is shown in the middle of the badge of the Air Wing, placed on a light blue disk and surrounded by a ring of 24 small yellow eight-pointed stars, the whole surrounded by a dark blue ring outlined in white and dark blue, bearing on top Воздухопловен ВИНГ ("Air Wing"), written in yellow Cyrillic letters, and, on bottom, Република Македонија ("Republic of Macedonia"), written in yellow Cyrillic letters and flanked by two yellow dots.

Valentin Poposki & Ivan Sache, 7 January 2010


Aircraft markings

Aircraft marking         Aircraft marking

Macedonian aircraft markings; left, main marking; right, low-visibility marking, 1995 - Images by Eugene Ipavec, 2 July 2006

Quoting the Aeroflight website:

The triangular main marking is displayed on the fuselage sides of helicopters and aircraft, with the point in the direction of flight, and also on the upper right and lower left wing of aircraft. The national flag is used as a fin flash. No service titles are carried.
During 1995, one of the Mi-17s was painted with an experimental low-visibility version of the national insignia. The national flag fin flash was deleted. This insignia was not widely adopted

Valentin Poposki, 2 July 2006