King Hussein Air College

The Mafraq-based KHAC is the oldest air base in Jordan, dating back to 1920, and, later in the century, the one and only flight training facility. Every aviator in the RJAF has been to this College, which graduated the first batch of Aviators back in 1975.

The College now houses a university college that offers a bachelor degree in Aviation Sciences, all under the umbrella of Firas Al-Ajlouni School, named after a hero who fell martyr in the same base in 1967.

The base is home to three training squadrons: 4th for basic training on fixed-wing aircraft, 11th for advanced fixed-wing training and 5th for helicopter training.

Also among the components of the base is the Flying Instructor School, which trains trainers, a technical school for non-commissioned officers where they are taught technical management and English language course. The latter graduates six classes a year.

A ground defense battalion, including a quick response platoon, and housing units for 80 families of the base's personnel also exist in the base, among other facilities.

The organizational structure of the college includes a commandant, a flight wing commander, squadron commanders and a maintenance chief, while a crew of other top officers report to the commandant, handling security, finance, technical support, administrative affairs, logistics and housing.

Before it was dedicated as a full-fledged training and education facility, KHAC was a combat base that took part in all wars the Kingdom had fought.

In the 1920s Mafraq was used as a base for aircraft and armored cars of the RAF. By 1931 Mafraq, which is situated on a large flat desert expand 8km from the Syrian border, was used as the major staging and refueling post for international flights and for the transfer of air supplies, personnel, freight and mail.

In 1951 the station was being rapidly developed with new buildings and a concrete runway. RAF Mafraq was evacuated and handed over to the Jordanian Government on May 31, 1957. The base stayed unused until 1958 when the RJAF took over and it was named King Hussein Air Base in June 1959 with 1st Fighter Squadron (Hunters) and later 2nd Squadron (Vampires) moving there from Amman.

Flying training started in 1960 with the 4th Squadron equipped with Chipmunks, but was later disbanded.

The base was attacked in the 1967 War with aircraft, runway and one of the hangers destroyed. It was then temporarily repaired but not used on a regular basis as the pilots were stationed in Iraq until 1968. In 1969, it was decided to complete the renovation so the Hunter squadron redeployed to Amman and then to Syria.

Full local pilot training started at the base in 1974 and the first graduation was in 1975.

In 1978, it was named King Hussein Air College, housing the Flying School with 2nd, 4th, 5th and 11th Squadrons, the Junior Command and Staff School, which was formed in 1979, and the Air Command and Staff College, formed in 1990 and later disbanded.