21st. Counter Insurgence Squadron O- 2 A
In 1972 (1349) 12 ships of O-2A were purchased and delivered to IIAF pilots in the USA.
The aircraft had to be completely modified into a large fuel tank, leaving the pilots’ seat unchanged from the original design; this was to accommodate the large fuel requirements for a direct flight from the US base to Tehran. The great skills of the IIAF pilots allowed the 12 ships to be flown without incident to Iran.
The Squadron was first formed in Tehran (Doshan Tappeh)and subsequently transferred to Tabriz, which later became a Tactical Air Base.
The Squadron was initially under the command of Shahrokhi AFB(Hamadan).
When Tabriz became a Tactical Fighter Base, the squadron was operationally
under the command of the Second Tactical Fighter Base.
The O-2 Squadron was one of the rare squadrons in IIAF which was a self sufficient squadron, Having more than 25 Instructor pilots and pilots and over 400 Maintenance crew all under command of the squadron commander.
The O-2 A squadron commanders were:
Col. Mohammad Reza Pezeshki
Col. Mostafa Afshar
Some of the pilots were: Bijan Riahi-Abdolah Saedy-Ata Rahimi-Hooshang Shad Anbaz-
Akbar Salehi-Mahmood Firoozi – Asghar Razaghi-Mahmood Khaleghi-Abbas Mir Lohi-
Reza Saadatmandi-Khosrow Anssari-Khosrow Moogooei-Ghassem Ebadi-Akbar Rookh Faraz- ….. Moghaddam-………Derogar-……..Sotoodeh-Dawood Fardmanesh-Majid Rashidi pour -………Reyhani- ………Teymoor Zadeh-Mostafa Soory-Reza Moezi-………Fereydoon Zadeh-…….Shamsaee- …… Chamani -…….Khadiv-……….Alikhani.
Note: If you have picture of any of these pilots? Please share it with us to complete this section.
The squadron’s mission was pilot training and operational readiness in combined Army/Navy/Air Force operations. The squadron also assumed wing training for those stationed in Iran.
Their missions were:
Formation, Navigation, Night Flight, Gunnery, Night Gunnery and Instrument Flight.
The aircraft had 2 guns and two rocket pods with capability for 7 rockets or, 4 rocket pods
.In 1978, this squadron was ultimately transferred to the Army (Hawa Nirooz). There, the instructor pilots trained the Hawa Nirooz pilots for a minimum of six months.
When the aircraft were at last transferred, the Army pilots were more than ready to operate these ships. Later, all pilots, instructor pilots and maintenance specialists were assigned to transport squadrons such as “Friendship” F-27 and the reliable “Hercules”C-130 squadrons.