``When You Need Us, Just Look at the Sky...``

The Gendarmerie Aviation Department provides timely, effective, and uninterrupted air support to the Gendarmerie General Command in the execution of tasks assigned to it by legal regulations. The Gendarmerie Aviation Department is one of the most significant force multipliers in providing humanitarian aid and search and rescue (SAR) operations carried out by the Gendarmerie General Command during natural disasters. Search and rescue operations and medical evacuations during earthquakes, forest fires, and floods are conducted as part of humanitarian aid activities. Considering our country`s location in an earthquake-prone area and the increasing frequency of hydrometeorological disasters due to global warming, it is assessed that we will continue to encounter such incidents frequently and with greater intensity in the future. On July 17, 2023, we conducted an extensive interview with Gendarmerie Pilot Colonel Kenan KURT, the Ankara Air Group Commander of the Gendarmerie Aviation Department, regarding the duties of the Gendarmerie Aviation Department in the context of humanitarian aid activities during natural disasters such as earthquakes, fires, and floods, as well as search and rescue and medical evacuation operations.

Date: Issue 125 - August 2023 Update: July 13, 2024

Defence Turkey: The Gendarmerie General Command's first aviation unit was established in Diyarbakır in 1968 under the name "Light Helicopter Company," with the purposes of air transportation/dispatching units, security and public order, reconnaissance and surveillance, as well as the evacuation of patients and injured individuals. Could you provide us with information about the recent humanitarian aid and search and rescue missions conducted by the Aviation Department, as well as the total flight hours accomplished?

Colonel Kenan KURT: Since its establishment in 1968, the Gendarmerie Aviation has been actively engaged in providing disaster relief and carrying out search and rescue missions during numerous natural disasters. Recently, we can summarize some of the tasks we have undertaken within this scope as follows: