AIR WING AFM
Located at Luqa Airport, the AFM's Air Wing is the aerial component of the Force. The Wing lends itself to all deployments of air assets in various roles and missions in order to maintain the territorial integrity of the Maltese Islands.
This is achieved by providing;
• Maritime Surveillance,
• Search and rescue on land and at sea,
• MEDEVAC (Medical Evacuation) and CASEVAC (Casualty evacuation)
• VIP & military conveyances,
• Reconnaissance including Aerial photography & filming,
• Security escort and limited fire support,
• Transportation of troops.
This unit is headed by Lieutenant Colonel James Thomas Grech, AFM. The AFM Air Wing is assisted by the Italian Military Mission's two AB-212 search and rescue (SAR) helicopters. Air Wing personnel and assets are ready to deploy on a 24/7 basis as instructed by the AFM's Rescue Coordination Centre.
The Air Wing Headquarters is tasked with command, control, and coordination of the Unit's divisions and sub-units, in order to ensure Unit readiness to respond to various operational requirements, both locally and overseas.
The Air Wing's Commanding Officer is Lieutenant Colonel James Thomas Grech.
Headquarters Squadron provides logistical and service support to the other sub-units of the AFM Air Wing. Responsible for transport management, logistics procurement, and human resources administration required for the Unit's daily duties and commitments.The Integrated Logistics Division within the Headquarters Squadron is tasked with ensuring of the stocking up of all aircraft parts and aircraft maintenance documenation.
This is the operative element of the Unit, and is divided into three sub sections:
The Fixed Wing Flight
Handles aircraft operations which include, but not limited, to coastal and offshore patrolling, sighting and reporting of irregular migration at sea and interdiction, fisheries patrols, and several other varied flight duties.
Rotary Wing Flight
The Rotary Wing Flight handles all helicopter operations, ranging from offshore casualty evacuation and rescue to air ambulance as well as patient transfer between the Islands' two main hospitals. It also provides assistance to other government entities as required.
The Rescue Section
The Rescue Section is a small unit of highly motivated soldiers, capable of performing all kinds of rescues on land or out at sea. Each rescue-swimmer is qualified in first aid, life saving, and other specialist skills. A high level of physical fitness is required .
The Support Squadron maintains all the aircraft types on inventory ready to be scrambled into the air at a moment's notice.
The Support Squadron, understandably, is the largest section within the unit.
Maintenance schedules and procedures are strictly adhered to, so as to ensure a safe flight environment especially during emergency missions. Varying levels of maintenance work is routinely carried out ranging from relatively simple pre flight inspections to aircraft overhaul and refurbishment.
The ground crews include aircraft technicians who perform daily scheduled or unscheduled pre-flight inspections and modifications, to rectify any faults. Technicians also form part of flight crews, operating sophisticated mission systems onboard fixed-wing aircraft, such as the Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) unit, or perform as winch-hoist operators on rescue-helicopters.
The ground crew personnel are also responsible for aircraft and equipment handling on the ground, emergency fire fighting, aircraft marshalling, aircraft towing, aircraft refuelling, and other essential line duties.
The Support Squadron Aircraft Documentation Office keeps track on the Aircraft Daily State of availability besides updating the maintenance manuals. Airworthiness Directives are tracked and archived as they become available from various local and overseas aviation authorities and administrations. Maintenance schedules must be strictly adhered to in order to ensure a safe flight environment. The office staff, track acquisition of technical manuals and revisions, and prepare 'Certificate of Airworthiness' inspections of all aircraft.
AIRWING NATIONAL AWARD
On 13 December 2013, the Airwing of the Armed Forces of Malta was awarded the 'Midalja Ghal Qadi tar-Repubblika' (MQR) service medal by H.E. Dr George Abela President of Malta.
It was also the second time that an AFM Regiment was decorated with this honour in the history of the Armed Forces of Malta.