Text: Philippe Decock - Pictures: Philippe Decock & Hellenic Air Force - Archives: Coll Serge Van Heertum, Coll Denis Eusicom
Copyright sbap 2017Š
 
   
120 Air Training Wing
 
Emblem: Hellenic Air Force Training Air Support Emblem 120 Air Training Wing : " wish I was an eagle, flying high"
 

Mission :
The unit's mission is to provide the cadets and 2nd Lieutenants with flight training, in order to prepare and make them skilled pilots, able to engage duties and responsibilities as aircraft pilots.

History :
The construction of the airport started in 1960. The 120 ATW is established in 1970 with Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star airplanes. In January 1971, Cessna T-37 B/C Tweet airplanes were delivered and in 1976 the North American T-2E Buckeye replaced the T-33A. In August of the same year, the 120 Air Training Group is renamed 120 Air Training Wing. In August 2000, the T-37's were replaced by the T-6A TEXAN II.

Organization :
The 120 Air Training Wing is organized according to the typical organization of Wings that belong to the Air Force Training Command. It has the following Squadrons : 
361 Air Training Squadron - 362 Air Training Squadron - 363 Air Training Squadron - 364 Air Training Squadron

 
 Gate Guard: Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star  (Philippe DecockŠ) Same aircraft type during his operational career  (Coll Serge Van Heertum)
Anniversary T-37C "Ikaros" of the 361 Squadron  (Philippe DecockŠ) The tarmac in the 1970's (Coll Denis Eusicom)
 

361 Air Training Squadron

Icarus, representing the new trainee, is distinguished for 
his courage and energy.

Call Sign: MISTRAS

The squadron was formed in September 1963 at the 112 Combat Wing (112 CW) with T-37 B/Cs as the 360 Jet Training Squadron (JTS). In 1971 it was relocated to Kalamata airport and in 1974 was renamed to 361 Basic Training Squadron. In summer 2000 the T-37 B/C airplanes were replaced by the T-6A TEXAN. Since March 2006 the squadron is named 361 Air Training Squadron.

 

362 Air Training Squadron

Eagle watching a young eagle in flight.

Call Sign: NESTOR

The squadron was formed in 1957 at the 112 Combat Wing (112 CW) with T-33A airplanes and was named 361 Aircraft Training Squadron. In 1962 it redeployed to 114 CW and in 1970 at Kalamata airport. In 1974 it was renamed to 362 Advanced Training Squadron and in 1976 the T-33 A airplanes were replaced by the T-2E BUCKEYE. Since March 2006 it was renamed to 362 Air Training Squadron.

 

363 Air Training Squadron

A young man throws a javelin, under the supervision of an ancient warrior.

Call Sign: DANAOS

It was established in 1972 at the 110 CW with F-84F aircraft and was named 361 Air Training Flight. In 1974 the squadron was modernized with the T-2E BUCKEY airplanes and redeployed at Kalamata. Since March 2006 it was named 363 Air Training Squadron.

 

364 Air Training Squadron

It was established in March 2006 and uses the T-6A TEXAN airplanes for the Cadet's initial and basic training phase.

 

Water Survival School (WSS)

The WSS is situated at 120 Air Training Wing, near to Kalamata City, Peloponnesus.

History :
The SSTS was established at the 111 Combat Wing as a Training Center of Sea Survival in order to provide the HAF's pilots with training in sea survival. In 1983 it was transferred to 115 Combat Wing where it operated until 1993. From 1993 till today the school is based at 120 Air Training Wing while it was renamed to Sea Survival Training School.
Mission :
In 1969 the Training Center of Sea Survival was established at the 111 Combat Wing in order to provide HAF's pilots with sea survival training.
In 1983 it was transferred to 115 Combat Wing where it operated until 1993. In 1991 is started to provide special formed training to pilots/air crews of Cargo and Rotary-Wing Aircraft/Helicopters.
From 1993 till today the school base is at 120 Air Training Wing while renamed to Water Survival School.

  
  
 T-6A NTA taxiing out  (Philippe DecockŠ)
 
The Beechcraft T-6A Texan II
The Model 3000/T-6 is a low-wing cantilever monoplane with enclosed tandem seating for two. It is powered by single Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-68 turboprop engine with a four-bladed constant speed propeller and has a retractable tricycle landing gear. The aircraft is fitted with Martin-Baker Mark 16 ejection seats and a canopy fracturing system.
The T-6 is a development of the Pilatus PC-9, modified significantly by Beechcraft to enter the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System (JPATS) competition in the 1990s. A similar arrangement between Pilatus and British Aerospace had also been in place for a Royal Air Force competition in the 1980s, alt-hough that competition selected the Short Tucano. The aircraft was designated under the 1962 United-States Tri-Service aircraft designation system and named for the decades-earlier T-6 Texan.
The JPATS competition-winning design was based on a commercial off-the-shelf Pilatus PC-9, with minor modifications. Additional requirements and conflicts between the Air Force and the Navy resulted in delays, cost increases (from initial estimates of $3.9 to roughly $6 million per aircraft), and a completely new aircraft that is 22% or 1,100 lbs heavier than the Pilatus.
The T-6A NTA is the armed version of the T-6A and has the capability to carry rocket pods, gun pods, external fuel tanks, and bombs.
The Hellenic Air Force has a fleet of 45 T-6's, 25 T-6A's and 20 T-6A NTA's
 
 T-6A  (Philippe DecockŠ) T-6A's under sun protection shelters  (Philippe DecockŠ)
 T-6 getting some attention from a technician  (Philippe DecockŠ) (Philippe DecockŠ)
 (Philippe DecockŠ) (Philippe DecockŠ)
 T-6A NTA taking off  (Philippe DecockŠ) (Philippe DecockŠ)
(Hellenic Air ForceŠ) An armed T-6A NTA overflying Athens  (Hellenic Air ForceŠ)
 (Philippe DecockŠ) (Philippe DecockŠ)
 (Philippe DecockŠ) (Philippe DecockŠ)
 A T-6A NTA performing a touch and go  (Philippe DecockŠ) (Philippe DecockŠ)
 (Philippe DecockŠ) (Philippe DecockŠ)
 (Philippe DecockŠ) (Philippe DecockŠ)
 (Hellenic Air ForceŠ) (Hellenic Air ForceŠ)
 T-6A NTA landing at the end of another training flight  (Philippe DecockŠ) (Philippe DecockŠ)
 (Philippe DecockŠ) T-6A NTA back to the flight line   (Philippe DecockŠ)
 T-6A NTA 037 with a special painting to celebrate
the 50th anniversary of 361 Sqn
(Philippe DecockŠ)
(Philippe DecockŠ)
 T-6 maintenance hangar  (Philippe DecockŠ)
 (Philippe DecockŠ) (Philippe DecockŠ)
  
Daedalus aerobatic team T-6A NTA 036  (Philippe DecockŠ)
  

Hellenic Air Force T-6A Texan II Demo Team "Daedalus"

The T-6A Aircraft Demonstration Team was established in 2005 in the context of the 1st International Air Show "Archangel", continuing the glorious history of the HAF acrobatic flights: "Four Aces", "Acro Team", "Greek Flame", "New Greek Flame" after an absence from the Greek skies of approximately four decades.
Following communication with United States Air Force, two USAF instructors, namely Captain Jeff Stift, instructor of the West Coast Demo Team and Captain Eric Mc Umper, Ground-Flight Safety Observing Officer of the East Coast Demo Team of USAF, arrived at 120 Air Training Wing, in Kalamata.
In total, five Pilots from 361 Air Training Sqn were trained. The two Pilots chosen to carry out the Air Show's flight project was Major (I) Nikolaos Chriistopoulos and Major (P) Nikolaos Malapanis,
The training course began on 26 July 2005, was concluded on 16 August 2005 and included 18 co-pilot flights and 12 solo flights while the hours required were 20.8.
On Sunday, 18 September 2005, the T-6A Aircraft Demonstration Team performed the first public air show at 114 Combat Wing at the airfield or Tanagra, during the International Air Show "Archangel" in the context of the festivities held to honor the Hellenic Air Force's Patrons, Archangels Michael and Gabriel.

The T-6A Aircraft Demonstration Team constitutes an ambitious venture which aims at spreading and cultivating the air concept in the Greek community and at enhancing the morale of the Hellenic Armed Forces, while, at the same time, it is projecting the work of the Hellenic Air Force cadres to the wide public. In order for each air show of the T-6A Aircraft Demonstration Team to be successful and safe, the harmonic cooperation of a number of people is required. These people are :
The main Demonstration Pilot.
The Flight & Ground Safety Observing Officer, who is responsible for the continuous control of the flight project's safe conduct, observing the limitations regarding the flight height and has the jurisdiction to intervene and order the interruption of the maneuver if he decides that it is not performed correctly.
The narrator officer, who is responsible for narrating, explaining and commenting on the maneuvers performed to the public.
The aircraft's preparation and support technical personnel

Air Show Maneuvers

The T-6A aircraft of the Demonstration Team has the ability, depending on the prevailing weather conditions and the clouds base altitude in the area of the show, to carry out two acrobatic maneuver projects: A High one and a Low one. More specifically, there are:

High Show: Minimum clouds base altitude 4,500 feet above ground level (AGL), horizontal visibility 5 km.
Takeoff Roll
Cuban Eight
Eight Point Roll
Reverse Half Cuban Eight
Texas Sidewinder
Level 360°- Derry Turn
Fish Hook
Reverse Half Cuban Eight
Opposing Roll - High Speed
Landing Gear down Pass
Rapid rise for photography
High Speed Photo Pass
Tactical Pitch-up to Land

Flat Show: Minimum cloud base altitude 2,500 feet above ground level (AGL) and horizontal visibility 5 km.
Takeoff Roll
Cuban Eight
Eight Point Roll
Reverse Half Cuban Eight
Texas Sidewinder
Level 360°- Derry Turn
Fish Hook
Reverse Half Cuban Eight
Opposing Roll - High Speed
Landing Gear down Pass
Rapid rise for photography
High Speed Photo Pass
Tactical Pitch-up to Land

Both programs include high performance maneuvers with accelerations ranging from -1 to +7g. During the conduct of the show maneuvers, the aircraft's speed ranges from 80 to 260 Knots. The High Show lasts 10 minutes and 30 seconds and the Low Show's duration is 8 minutes and 30 seconds.

Daedalus is now the longest ever lived display team through HAF history! "Daedalus" is enhancing the morale of the Hellenic Armed Forces, while, at the same time, it is showcasing the work of the Hellenic Air Force to the wide public. Inspired by Greek mythology, the team is named after Daedalus, who was the father of Icarus. The name Daedalus originated from the word "ΔΑΙΔΑΛΟΣ", meaning "to work artfully".
In 2015, the demo aircraft received a special painting to commemorate the teams 10th anniversary. The upper part of the aircraft depicts a huge waiving Greek flag. The design under the fuselage is based on the Icarus flight close to the sun, according to Greek mythology. Moreover, two of his inventions are displayed on the tail section, the caliper and the maze.

 
 
 (Hellenic Air ForceŠ) (Hellenic Air ForceŠ)
 (Philippe DecockŠ) (Philippe DecockŠ)
 (Philippe DecockŠ) (Philippe DecockŠ)
 
North American T-2C Buckeye  (Philippe DecockŠ)
 

The North American T-2E Buckeye
First flown in 1958, T-2 Buckeye (its original designation was T2J-1) jet trainer aircraft were produced for the U.S. Navy by North American Aviation at Columbus, Ohio. T-2 trainers were used by the Naval Air Training Command to conduct basic jet flight training for future Navy and Marine Corps aviators. The trainer established an outstanding record of safety and reliability while providing training for more than 11,000 students to pilot 18 different models of Navy jet aircraft. Buckeyes were purchased by Venezuela (T-2D) and Greece (T-2E).
The two-place, high-performance T-2 Buckeye was used for a wide variety of pilot training, from the student's first jet flight to fully qualified flight. The aircraft was used for teaching a wide range of skills, including high-altitude, high-speed formation and aerobatic flights; basic and radio instruments; night and day navigation; and gunnery, bombing and carrier operations.
The Buckeye has a tandem seating arrangement with the rear seat elevated to provide student and instructor pilot with excellent visibility. The front and rear cockpits has duplicate controls, allowing con-trol of the aircraft from either cockpit. The rocket-catapult ejection seats provide emergency escape capabilities from ground level to 50,000 feet (15,240 meters) at speeds from 55 knots (101 kph) to 525 knots (972 kph).
The flying characteristics, control response, low stall speed and good stability of the T-2 combine to provide the qualities required of a good training aircraft. In addition, the T-2 is a rugged, versatile and forgiving aircraft. The wide-tread tricycle landing gear pro-vided excellent control during takeoff and landing.
The thrust-to-weight ratio and high limit load factor provide performance capabilities equal to many jet tactical aircraft. The airframe is constructed to withstand carrier landings, inadvertent high g-loads and rough landings encountered during student training.
Ground-level maintenance is emphasized throughout the design of the Buckeye. Convenient access to installed components, grouped at waist level or lower, eliminates the need for workstands and ladders for most maintenance. Large quick-opening doors provide ready access to equipment.
Engine access is direct and simple. Two forward clamshell doors can be quickly opened to expose engine accessories. Opening three doors on one side allows complete removal and installation of an engine. The engines are suspended from the primary fuselage structure, thereby eliminating the need for a fuselage field break. All primary servicing procedures, including single-point refueling, can be performed from ground level.
The versatility of the T-2 as a weapons trainer is demonstrated by the capability to install many types of practice stores on the wing store stations. These stores include bombs, air-to-air and air-to-ground rockets, gun pods, and aerial tow targets.
Live bombing missions are flown by Kalamata-based T-2's using the Karavia range situated east of the peloponnesian peninsula.

 
 Close up on the nose section of a North American T-2C Buckeye
(Philippe DecockŠ)
North American T-2C Buckeye
(Philippe DecockŠ)
 North American T-2C Buckeye  (Philippe DecockŠ) North American T-2C Buckeye  (Philippe DecockŠ)
 North American T-2C Buckeye  (Philippe DecockŠ) North American T-2C Buckeye  (Philippe DecockŠ)
Live bomb being loaded on a pair of T-2's  (Philippe DecockŠ)
 North American T-2E Buckeye  (Philippe DecockŠ) North American T-2E Buckeye  (Philippe DecockŠ)
 North American T-2E Buckeye  (Philippe DecockŠ) Kalimera!  (Philippe DecockŠ)
 (Philippe DecockŠ) (Philippe DecockŠ)
 (Philippe DecockŠ) (Philippe DecockŠ)
 (Philippe DecockŠ)
 North American T-2E Buckeye taking off for a live bombing mission
(Philippe DecockŠ)
(Philippe DecockŠ)
 (Philippe DecockŠ) (Philippe DecockŠ)
 Hellenic Air Force North American T-2E Buckeye in flight
(Hellenic Air ForceŠ)
(Hellenic Air ForceŠ)
 (Philippe DecockŠ) A view on the upper side camouflage  (Hellenic Air ForceŠ)
 (Hellenic Air ForceŠ) (Philippe DecockŠ)
 (Philippe DecockŠ) (Philippe DecockŠ)
 North American T-2E Buckeye taking off with a pair of live M117 bombs
(Philippe DecockŠ)
(Philippe DecockŠ)
 (Philippe DecockŠ) (Philippe DecockŠ)
 (Hellenic Air ForceŠ) (Hellenic Air ForceŠ)
 (Philippe DecockŠ) (Philippe DecockŠ)
 The T-2's flight line  (Philippe DecockŠ)
 The nbr 84 still with the 40 anniversary scheme  (Philippe DecockŠ) The nbr 84 operational in 2012  (Hellenic Air ForceŠ)
 Into maintenance  (Philippe DecockŠ) And to conclude a splendid model of the Buckeye (Philippe DecockŠ)
 
Wrecks and relics
 
A row of retired Cessna T-37B/C Tweety Bird  (Philippe DecockŠ)
 Cessna T-37B Tweety Bird  (Philippe DecockŠ) Cessna T-37C Tweety Bird  (Philippe DecockŠ)
 Former US Navy North American T-2C Buckeye  (Philippe DecockŠ) Former US Navy North American T-2C Buckeye  (Philippe DecockŠ)
 Retired North American T-2E Buckeye  (Philippe DecockŠ) Retired North American T-2E Buckeye  (Philippe DecockŠ)
 

On behalf of SBAP, I would like to thank the Embassy of Belgium in Athens, the Hellenic Air Force General Staff, Kalamata Air Base Commanding Officer, my guide of the day and all the people I met during my visit for helping us in the realization of this report.

 

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