Viorel Pană (born 1964) is a general of the Romanian Air Force who currently serves as the Air Force Chief of Staff. Pană started his military career in 1985 after graduating from the Dimitrie Cantemir Military High School in Breaza. From 1989 he flew as a fighter pilot on MiG-21 fighters, eventually transitioning to transport aircraft in 1992.[1]

Viorel Pană
Lt. Gen. Viorel Pană during a visit at the Pentagon, 27 June 2023
Born (1964-02-04) 4 February 1964 (age 59)
Găești, Dâmbovița County, Romania
Service/branchRomanian Air Force
Years of service1985 – present
RankLieutenant General
Commands heldChief of the Air Force Staff
90th Airlift Base
901st Air Transport Squadron
Battles/warsIrak War
Afghanistan War
AwardsLegion of Merit
Ordre national du Mérite
Order of Aeronautical Virtue
Emblem of Honor of the Romanian Army
Emblem of Honor of the General Staff
Emblem of Honor of the Air Force
Honorific sign "În Serviciul Patriei"
Alma materCarol I National Defence University
Childrenone daughter[1]

He has more than 3,000 flight hours on the C-130 Hercules and C-27J Spartan, and flew over 200 missions in operation theatres in Irak, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Kosovo. He was assigned as Chief of Staff of the Air Force in 2017, having previously served as commander of the 90th Airlift Base.

Early life and military career edit

Viorel Pană was born on 4 February 1964 in Găești, Dâmbovița County. He started his military career by attending Dimitrie Cantemir Military High School [ro] in Breaza, from which he graduated in 1985. He continued his studies at the Aurel Vlaicu Military School of Aviation Officers graduating in 1989 and eventually becoming a MiG-21 fighter pilot, being assigned to the Fighter Aviation Regiment from Deveselu.[1]

He continued his service as a fighter pilot until 1992, when he transferred to flying transport aircraft at the 90th Airlift Base, starting with the An-24, then continuing with the C-130 and C-27J. After graduating from the Carol I National Defence University in 2007, he returned to the base, becoming commander of the C-130 Hercules squadron. From 2011, he became deputy commander of the base (at that time the 90th Air Flotilla), and from 2014 becoming its commander. In 2010, he obtained the title of doctor in Military Sciences and Intelligence from the Carol I National Defence University.[1]

During his career as a pilot, Pană logged over 3,000 flight hours, also serving as a C-130 and C-27J instructor. He participated in more than 200 missions in operation theaters in Irak, Afghanistan, Bosnia–Herzegovina, and Kosovo,[2] as well as in participating and leading missions in-country and abroad in Libya, Montenegro, China, and Mali.[1] On one such mission in Afghanistan having to command a C-130 with engine problems during a night flight from Kabul.[3]

He was named Air Force Chief of Staff on 11 October 2017, succeeding Major General Laurian Anastasof.[4]

Education edit

Decorations edit

Lt. Gen. Viorel Pană being presented with the Legion of Merit by Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr.

Romania edit

France edit

United States edit

Ranks edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e f "General-locotenent doctor Viorel PANĂ". (in Romanian).
  2. ^ a b "Domnul General-maior Viorel Pană, Şeful Statului Major al Forţelor Aeriene, numit Ofițer al Ordinului Național al Meritului". (in Romanian). 6 January 2022.
  3. ^ "Viorel Pană: Este un plus în materie de siguranță pentru piloții noștri. Din punct de vedere tactic, MiG-ul 21 Lancer era depășit". (in Romanian). 24 July 2023.
  4. ^ "Generalul Viorel Pana preia conducerea Aviatiei Militare". Aviatia Magazin (in Romanian). 12 October 2017.
  5. ^ "Hellvig (SRI), Pahonțu (SPP), Predoiu (SIE), Vasilca (STS), decorați de Iohannis". (in Romanian). 2 December 2017.