Ghana Air Force

The Ghana Air Force is the aerial warfare organizational military branch of the Ghanaian Armed Forces. The GHF, along with the Ghanaian army and Ghanaian navy, make up the Ghanaian Armed Forces which are controlled by the Ghanaian Ministry of Defence.


The GHF started on 24 July 1959 as a Flying Training School with Israeli instructors and technicians. The School was established as a cradle of a service to complement the Army and the Navy. Later that year a headquarters was established in Accra under the command of Indian Air commodore Jaswant Singh who was appointed as the first Chief of Air Staff.
In 1960 Royal Air Force personnel took up the task of training the newly established Ghana Air Force and in 1961 they were joined by a small group of Royal Canadian Air Force personnel. In September 1961 as part of President Kwame Nkrumah's Africanization program, a Ghanaian CAS was appointed, with the first being J.E.S. de Graft-Hayford. Although born in the U.K. he was of Ghanaian descent.
The Ghana Air Force was in the beginning equipped with a squadron of Chipmunk trainers, and squadrons of Beavers, Otters and Caribou transport aircraft. In addition a DH125 jet was bought for Kwame Nkrumah, Hughes helicopters were bought for mosquito spraying plus DH Doves and Herons. British-made Westland Whirlwind helicopters and a squadron of Italian-made MB-326 ground attack/trainer jets were also purchased.
In 1962 the national School of Gliding was set up by Hanna Reitsch, who was once Adolf Hitler's top personal pilot. Under the command of Air Commodore de Graft-Hayford, she served as director, operations instructor and trainer of the school. She also acted as the personal pilot of Kwame Nkrumah from 1962–1966.


The GHF headquarters and main transport airfield are located in Accra, close to Kotoka International Airport. Other GHF airfields include:
GHF Air Force Station, Sekondi-Takoradi, started as RAF Station Takoradi, then it became Ghana Air Force Station, Sekondi-Takoradi, on 1 March 1961. The Chipmunk Basic Trainer Aircraft was the first aircraft used at the Station with an all Rank Air Force Station.
The GHF Air Force station, Accra, came into being soon after the Royal Air Force had taken over the administration from the Indian and Israeli Air Force officers at the beginning of 1961. The station was housed at No 3 hangar at the Accra Airport with hardly any aircraft. The Unit had four main sub-units, i.e. the Administration Wing, Flying Wing, Technical Wing and Equipment Wing. The School of Technical Training was also located at this station.
The Station moved from No 3 hangar to its present location in Burma Camp towards the end of 1965.


The role of the Ghana Air Force, as defined in the National Defence Policy, is to provide “Air Transport and Offensive Air Support to the Ghana Armed Forces and to protect the territorial air space of Ghana”. The National Defense Policy further states certain specific tasks, which the Ghana Air Force is expected to perform. These tasks are as follows:

The Ghana Air Force is also responsible for the co-ordination and direction of Search and Rescue within the Accra Flight Information Region.


Current inventory

Retired aircraft

Chiefs of Air Staff

The senior appointment in the GHF is the Chief of Air Staff. The following is a list of the Ghana Air Force Chiefs of Air Staff:
Chief of Air StaffConscriptionNote
Air Commodore K. Jaswant-SinghMay 1959 – August 1960Indian
Wing Commander I. M. Gundry-WhiteSeptember 1960 – March 1961British
Air Commodore John N. H. WhitworthMarch 1961 – September 1962British
Air Commodore J.E.S. de Graft-HayfordSeptember 1962 – July 1963First Ghanaian CAS
Air Vice-Marshal Michael OtuJuly 1963 – March 1968
Air Commodore N. Y. R. Ashley-LarsenMarch 1968 – January 1971
Air Commodore Charles BeausolielJanuary 1971 – December 1971
Air Commodore N. Y. R. Ashley-LarsenDecember 1971 – January 1972
Air Commodore Charles BeausolielDecember 1972 – November 1976
Air Vice Marshal George Yaw BoakyeNovember 1976 – June 1979
Wing Commander Samuel GyabaahJune 1979 – July 1979
Group Captain F. W. K. KlutseJuly 1979 – December 1979
Air Commodore J. E. Odaate- BarnorDecember 1979 – May 1980
Air Commodore K. K. PumpuniMay 1980 – January 1982
Group Captain E. A. A. AwuviriJanuary 1982 – December 1982
Air Vice Marshal J. E. A. KoteiDecember 1982 – June 1988
Air Marshal Harry DumashieJune 1988 – June 1992
Air Marshal John Asamoah Bruce5 June 92 – February 2001
Air Vice Marshal Edward Apau ManteyFebruary 2001 – January 2005
Air Vice Marshal Julius Otchere Boateng20 May 2005 – to 28 January 2009
Air Vice Marshal M. Samson-Oje31 March 2009 – January 2016
Air Vice Marshal Maxwell Mantsebi-Tei NagaiJanuary 2016 – January 2019
Air Vice Marshal Frank HansonJanuary 2019 – Present

Rank structure

The GHF's rank structure is similar to the RAF's rank structure from where its ranks were derived.
;Commissioned officers