As Colombia welcomes the T-6C Texan II to replace the long-serving T-37 Tweet, Cees-Jan van der Ende looks at how the Colombian Air Force is modernizing its fighter pilot training.
The Fuerza Aérea Colombiana (FAC, Colombian Air Force) has been a longstanding operator of the venerable Cessna T-37 Tweet. Both the T-37B and T-37C variants have been in operation at Comando Aéreo de Combate 1 (CACOM 1) at Palanquero Air Base (AB), Bogotá. After 53 years of service, the type’s J69 engines fell silent for the final time as its successor, the Beechcraft T-6C Texan II arrived on Colombian soil. The FAC’s path to renewal in its fixed-wing training and light combat assets is currently taking shape as the Vietnam-era A-37 Dragonflies and T-37 Tweets have recently been retired from service, respectively, at CACOM 3 located at Barranquilla on March 31 of 2020 and CACOM 1 at Palanquero in June 2021.