The Somali Air Corps (SAC) was originally established with Italian aid in the early 1960s, emerging from the Italian “Corpo di Sicurezza della Somalia” while the country was under Italian and British administration, between 1950 and 1960.
The most important pieces of its original equipment were eight North American F-51D Mustangs, Douglas C-47s and MiG 23s, which remained in service until 1968.
The SAC operated most of its aircraft from bases near Mogadishu and Hargeisa and Gaalkacyo. Its mission was to support armed forces during wartime. In the spring of 1977, the Somali military, under the direction of Mohamed Siad Barre, invaded the Ogaden (also called West-Somalia) to reclaim the Somali-populated territory.The SAC on occasions the Somali Airlines (now defunct) aircraft were utilized to ferry troops and supplies to war zones. It also had other combat aircraft, the MiG-15, MiG-21, MiG-17, and the ll-28. In addition, the SAC may have utilized the Mi-8.
The Somali Air Force also obtained a number of ex-Omani Air Force Hawker Hunters during the early 1980s. These aircraft where originally operated by civilian ground engineers and pilots from Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom.
With the fall of Siad Barre's regime in 1991 and the break out of the civil war, all funding for any government activity, including the SAF, halted immediately.