Siddhesh Joshi

Carlo Gagiano

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Allegiance  South Africa
Name  Carlo Gagiano
Years of service  1968–2012

Rank  Lieutenant General
Battles/wars  Border War
Unit  South African Air Force
Carlo Gagiano wwwdefencewebcozaimagesstoriesMUGSHOTSMUGSH
Born  26 March 1951 (age 64) Bonnievale, Western Cape (1951-03-26)
Commands held  Chief of the South African Air Force
Awards  Southern Cross Medal (SM) Military Merit Medal (MMM)

Service/branch  South African Air Force
Battles and wars  South African Border War

Lieutenant-General Carlo Gagiano (born 26 March 1951, Bonnievale, Western Cape) was a South African military commander and former Chief of the South African Air Force. He joined the South African Air Force in 1968, and served in the Border War in South West Africa in the 1970s.


Air Force career

Lieutenant General Gagiano joined the South African Air Force in 1968 and qualified as a pilot on the Air Macchi 326M in December 1969

In 1985, he completed the South African Air Force's Senior Command and Staff Course and was subsequently appointed as the OC 3 Squadron, operating Mirage F1CZ aircraft. In 1989, he was appointed as the Officer Commanding 89 Combat Flying School, flying Cheetah D aircraft.

From 1991 to 1994, he was the South African military attaché to Israel. On his return from Israel, Gagiano attended the South African National Defence Force's Joint Staff Course. He served as Inspector-General of the Air Force from 1998 to 2000, as Chief Director: Operations Development from 2000 to 2005, and was promoted to Chief of the Air Force in 2005.

State of the Air Force

In October 2006, he gave an interview to Business Day about the state of the SA Air Force, saying:

The paper further quoted Gagiano as saying:

In 2012 Minister of Defence Lindiwe Sisulu cancelled a parliamentary committee appearance by Gagiano after it appeared that he would make public detrimental information about the state of the service.


In 2011, Lt. General Gagiano tendered his resignation, following problems with the aircraft that was used to take Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe on an official visit to Finland. The aircraft suffered mechanical problems and the trip had to be cancelled. Lt. General Gagiano accepted responsibility for the situation and tendered his resignation, however Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu refused to accept his resignation.


Lieutenant General Gagiano handed over command to Lieutenant General Fabian Msimang in a ceremony on 28 September 2012.

Aircraft Flown

  • North American Harvard
  • Pilatus PC-7
  • De Havilland Vampire
  • Canadair Sabre Mk.6
  • Mirage III
  • Mirage F1CZ
  • Denel Cheetah D and E
  • Awards and Decorations

    Lieutenant General Gagiano has been awarded the following medals and decorations:

  • Southern Cross Medal (SM)
  • Military Merit Medal (MMM)
  • Pro Patria Medal
  • Southern Africa Medal
  • General Service Medal
  • Unitas Medal
  • Medalje vir Troue Diens (Medal for Loyal Service with 40 Year Clasp)
  • Good Service Medal, Gold (30 Years)
  • Good Service Medal, Silver (20 Years)
  • Good Service Medal, Bronze (10 Years)
  • Medal of Merit Santos Dumont (Brazil)
  • Commander of the Order of the Polar Star (Sweden)
  • Pilots Wings (2500+ hrs) badge
  • References

    Carlo Gagiano Wikipedia

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