``Our Plan Involves Establishing New Units to Provide Coverage Across the Entirety of Türkiye``

We present an exclusive interview with Gendarmerie Pilot Colonel Bayram KIRMIZI, who serves as the Head of the Administrative Management Division within the Gendarmerie Aviation Department. This interview delves into the historical perspective, current state, organizational structure, and capabilities of the Aviation Department, as well as its future plans. Joining the interview on July 17, 2023, were Gendarmerie Pilot Colonel Türker TÜRKÜCÜ, Chief of the Maintenance Section, and Gendarmerie Pilot Colonel Onur ALGÜL, Chief of the Operations Branch Plan Section.

Date: Issue 125 - August 2023 Update: June 14, 2024

Defence Turkey: To begin, could you please provide us with an overview of the historical background of the Gendarmerie Aviation Department?

Colonel Bayram KIRMIZI: In 1968, the first Aviation Unit of the Gendarmerie General Command was established in Diyarbakır under the name of "Light Helicopter Unit." Its primary objective was to offer aviation support to Gendarmerie Units situated in the Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia regions. The Gendarmerie Air Group Command was then formed in Güvercinlik in 1979, followed by the establishment of the Van Gendarmerie Fleet Command in 1993. The Aydın Gendarmerie Fleet Command was established in 2003 to fulfill helicopter requirements for Gendarmerie Units in the western regions, as part of efforts related to public security, tourism, and public assistance. In 2013, the Gendarmerie Aviation School Command was established, undertaking the training of the flying personnel required by the Gendarmerie General Command. Subsequently, in 2018, the Aviation Department was established, resulting in the consolidation of all aviation units under the umbrella of the Gendarmerie Aviation Department. In 2021, the Gendarmerie UAV Command was established within the Aviation Department, specifically to manage missions executed through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) for aerial reconnaissance, surveillance, and target neutralization during Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATO).