Text: Philippe Decock - Pictures: Philippe Decock, Hellenic Air Force - Archives: Coll Serge Van Heertum, Coll Denis Eusicom
Copyright sbap 2017Š
 
 
Air Tactics Center
 
Emblem: Tactical Air Support Emblem: Air Tactics Center
 

Emblem: "A right decision eliminates several means"
Location: Andravida Air Base
Established: 1983
Subordination: Hellenic Tactical Air Force (HTAF)
Squadrons: 
Tactical Support Squadron (TSS)
Schools/Courses
Fighter Weapons School (FWS)
Electronic Warfare School (EWS)
Joint Electronic Warfare School (JEWS)
Air to Ground Operations School (A/GOS)

Mission:
Air Tactics Center's mission is the research and shaping of Air Tactics, to effectively face the threat, and also joint staff training on Air Tactics and Electronic Warfare (EW). The Center performs all the operational tests, ?.W. studies, tools and weapon systems assessment and monitors the operational efficiency by developing the best operational tactics for self-protection and electronic warfare systems.
In particular, Air Tactics Center's is tasked for the following :
- To improve the operational knowledge and skills of HAF personnel in air tactics and electronic warfare.
- To improve staff's knowledge concerning the air to surface military operations, by providing theoretical and practical education through schools that it organizes, and by publishing Training Manuals.
- To seek out and test new methods and procedures to constitute the regular tactics of air operations, depending on the threat and HAF's available means.
- To systematically monitor the technological development in the defence sector and to produce studies aiming to increase HAF's fighting ability while avoiding tactical and operational surprise from the opponent.
- To plan and execute certification/assessment tests of aircraft and weapon systems to meet the operational requirements and to improve tactics.
- To program and monitor all HAF's Self-Protection Systems, in cooperation with the respective centers, so as to achieve maximum operational effectiveness in tactical use.
The Air Tactics Center also organizes "INVITEX" (Invitational Exercice) called "INIOHOS" which is a major event every march and april for the last four years. No less than 1.000 sorties are flown in a 8-9 days frame and the full spectrum of missions is covered. Participating countries included the USA, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Italy. INIOHOS is also hosted in Andravida.

History
The Air Tactics Center's was established in July 1983 and is based in the western Peloponnese, in Andravida Air Base. Its foundation was considered necessary by HAF's leadership in order to meet the growing operational requirements for education in Air Tactics and Electronic Warfare. These activities were previously covered by several, individual, schools under the management of 117CW, Hellenic Tactical Air Force and Hellenic Air Force Training Command.
In 1987 a new requirement of the Department of Electronic Warfare was covered, through the establishment of the Joint Electronic Warfare School, which is under the direct supervision of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff.
Since 1990, after HAF's procurement of 3rd generation fighters, and following the evolution in the means of operations, Tactical Weapons School adapted new ways of training, with the establishment of Joint Courses, where pilots are trained in both Air-to-Air and Air-to-Ground roles.
Meanwhile, Air Defense Control officers have the opportunity to participate as trainees in these courses and to develop a common spirit of action together with the pilots.

 

Fighter Weapons School (FWS)

Emblem Description: Aircraft coming out of a Trojan Horse

Call sign: Odysseus
Location: Andravida Air Base, Western Greece
Foundation Year : 1976
Subordination : Air Tactics Center

 

Mission:
The mission of Hellenic Fighter Weapons School (FWS) is:
- The advanced/operational flight training on Tactical Air Operations and on the use of weapons and electronic warfare systems, in realistic threat environment.
- To provide academic training on weapon systems, Electronic Warfare (EW) and Air-to-Air and Air-to-Surface tactics.
- To plan and oversee the operational test and evaluation of air tactics and of the use of HAF's weapons and electronic warfare systems.
- To support with know-how and specialized personnel the conduct of small and medium scale exercises of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff and the Hellenic Air Force (Iniohos, Dourios Ippos, Parmenion, Geraki).
- Oversight of of weapon and electronic warfare systems tests.
- The participation in the promotion and dissemination of constructive tactical thinking in all HAF's staff, by producing relevant training manuals and material.
- The assistance and support of flight test programs, during the implementation phase.
- The provision of specialized academic and practical training on Air War matters to all Armed Forces personnel.

The FWS is also responsible for preparing and implementing any Air Tactics Center's flight program.

History:
The FWS was founded in 1976 as a training center for providing advanced operational flight training in aerial combat.
The first training course, involving pilots flying with F-4E, F-5E and F-1CG aircraft, operated in 1976 and was focused on interception tactics.
Since 1977, bomber Squadrons' pilots, coming from A-7 and F-104G aircraft, started their training, with emphasis given on their specific missions.
Since its establishment, FWS was subordinated to the 117 Combat Wing, at Andravida Air Force base, where it stays until today.
In October 1983, FWS was subordinated in the newly created Air Tactics Center.
Training:
The Joint Fighters Course and the Helicopters Course are the most prevalent, regarding duration and intensity, training programs performed in Hellenic Fighter Weapons School.
The Joint Fighters Course is attended by air crew and other officers, directly associated with operations, like Air Defense Controllers, SBAD personnel and Intelligence officers. Participants are selected based on their operational knowledge and demonstrated ability in air operations. The course duration is three months. Initially, the necessary academic training is provided to the students to help them comprehend the demanding and difficult practical training in planning and executing of complex missions, such as Composite Air Operations (COMAO).
The Helicopters Course aims to train the crews in a complex airborne and ground threats environment. Crews from HAF's, Army's (the Army Air Force) and Navy's (pilots from Maritime Helicopter Administration) helicopters are attending the Course. The total duration is three weeks, of which the first week is devoted to academic and the next two to practical training on the planning and execution of missions.
At the same time, FWS performs operational tests and evaluations, in cooperation with the Test Department of the Air Tactics Centre. FWS functions as a special squadron, performing testing for armament programs in the implementation phase.
Furthermore, FWS provides academic training in operational and specialized issues, having as main priority the continuous efforts for qualitative upgrading of staff knowledge of the three branches of the Armed Forces. The academic training has the form of educational courses and seminars at the school, or Lessons Learned - Identified Recommendations for Improvement, which are issued after each educational cycle. A series of seminars-courses, as COMAO, Flight leaders, also take place at FWS.

 
 
Operations...
 
 Action begin...  (Philippe DecockŠ)
Preparing a Mirage 2000-5BG from 331 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ) Refueling  (Philippe DecockŠ)
Inspection of this 335 Sqn F-16D-52+ (Philippe DecockŠ) Start up and a last check  (Philippe DecockŠ)
Splendid Lockheed-Martin F-16C-52+ line  (Philippe DecockŠ)
343 Sqn F-16C-52+ on taxi  (Philippe DecockŠ) Fingers check before taxi  (Philippe DecockŠ)
Mc Donnell Douglas F-4E AUP from 338 Sqn   (Philippe DecockŠ) Mc Donnell Douglas F-4E AUP on taxi  (Philippe DecockŠ)
Ready for taxi clearence  (Philippe DecockŠ) All is ok...  (Philippe DecockŠ)
En route for the holding point  (Philippe DecockŠ) A F-4E AUP technician with a specific sweet!  (Philippe DecockŠ)
The international way to say...ok!  (Philippe DecockŠ) (Philippe DecockŠ)
Taxi for this Mc Donnell Douglas F-4E AUP  from 339 Sqn   (Philippe DecockŠ) On the way to the holding point  (Philippe DecockŠ)
Start up for thi F-16C-30 owned by the 330 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ) Another 330 Sqn F-16C-30  (Philippe DecockŠ)
The shadow men preparing the plane  (Philippe DecockŠ) Lockheed-Martin F-16C-30 330 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ)
330 Sqn tail  (Philippe DecockŠ) Same squadron...other drawing  (Philippe DecockŠ)
Note the hasardous area  (Philippe DecockŠ) Lockheed-Martin F-16C-30 330 Sqn   (Philippe DecockŠ)
F-16C-30 on taxi  (Philippe DecockŠ) Lockheed-Martin F-16C-30 330 Sqn (Philippe DecockŠ)
Lockheed-Martin F-16C-30 330 Sqn (Philippe DecockŠ) On the way to the holding point (Philippe DecockŠ)
 Lockheed-Martin F-16C-50 from 341 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ) Lockheed-Martin F-16C-50 from 347 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ)
337 Sqn on start up  (Philippe DecockŠ) Lockheed-Martin F-16C-52+ from 337 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ)
Lockheed-Martin F-16C-52+ from 337 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ) Lockheed-Martin F-16C-52+ from 337 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ)
Lockheed-Martin F-16C-52+ from 340 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ) 340 Sqn on taxi  (Philippe DecockŠ)
Full afterburner take off  (Philippe DecockŠ) Lockheed-Martin F-16C-52+ from 343 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ)
Lockheed-Martin F-16C-52+ from 343 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ) (Philippe DecockŠ)
Lockheed-Martin F-16D-50 from 341 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ)  Take off  (Philippe DecockŠ)
(Philippe DecockŠ) Lockheed-Martin F-16D-50 from 347 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ)
Beware the pirates!  (Philippe DecockŠ) Lockheed-Martin F-16D-52+ from 336 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ)
Ready for the next mission  (Philippe DecockŠ) Lockheed-Martin F-16D-52+ from 336 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ)
Lockheed-Martin F-16D-52+ from 336 Sqn start up  (Philippe DecockŠ) Lockheed-Martin F-16D-52+ from 337 Sqn (Philippe DecockŠ)
Lockheed-Martin F-16D-52+ from 337 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ) Taxi clearence for this 337 Sqn crew  (Philippe DecockŠ)
Lockheed-Martin F-16D-52+ from 340 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ) 340 Sqn on the way to the runway  (Philippe DecockŠ)
Lockheed-Martin F-16D-52+ from 340 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ) Lockheed-Martin F-16D-52+ from 343 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ)
Taxi to the holding point...  (Philippe DecockŠ) ... and take off  (Philippe DecockŠ)
Dassault Mirage 2000-5BG from 331 Sqn   (Philippe DecockŠ) Refueling  (Philippe DecockŠ)
On the way for the next flight  (Philippe DecockŠ) (Philippe DecockŠ)
All aircraft are launched  (Philippe DecockŠ)
A fantastic HAF mix of aircraft  (Hellenic Air ForceŠ) 341 Squadron in flight  (Hellenic Air ForceŠ)
Dassault Mirage 2000-5BG from 331 Sqn in flight  (Hellenic Air ForceŠ) Lockheed-Martin F-16D-52+ on sea level  (Hellenic Air ForceŠ)
Some kind of exercice: Bombing  (Hellenic Air ForceŠ) Gun straffing  (Hellenic Air ForceŠ)
Air to air combat  (Hellenic Air ForceŠ) Back home after the exercice  (Hellenic Air ForceŠ)
Mc Donnell Douglas F-4E AUP from 338 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ)
Simply a wonderful bird  (Philippe DecockŠ) Drag chute open  (Philippe DecockŠ)
Mc Donnell Douglas F-4E AUP from 339 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ) Landing ok  (Philippe DecockŠ)
Lockheed-Martin F-16C-30 from 330 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ) (Philippe DecockŠ)
(Philippe DecockŠ) Lockheed-Martin F-16C-30 from 330 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ)
Lockheed-Martin F-16C-50 from 341 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ) (Philippe DecockŠ)
(Philippe DecockŠ) Lockheed-Martin F-16C-50 from 347 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ)
Lockheed-Martin F-16C-52+ from 337 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ) (Philippe DecockŠ)
(Philippe DecockŠ) Lockheed-Martin F-16C-52+ from 340 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ)
Lockheed-Martin F-16C-52+ from 343 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ) (Philippe DecockŠ)
(Philippe DecockŠ) Lockheed-Martin F-16D-50 from 341 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ)
Lockheed-Martin F-16D-50 from 347 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ) (Philippe DecockŠ)
(Philippe DecockŠ) Lockheed-Martin F-16D-50 from 335 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ)
Lockheed-Martin F-16D-52+ from 336 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ) (Philippe DecockŠ)
(Philippe DecockŠ) Lockheed-Martin F-16D-52+ from 337 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ)
Dassault Mirage 2000-5BG from 331 Sqn  (Philippe DecockŠ) (Philippe DecockŠ)
Mission complete. Training with such a mix of aircraft is a must!  (Philippe DecockŠ)
 

On behalf of SBAP, I would like to thank the Embassy of Belgium in Athens, the Hellenic Air Force General Staff, Andravida 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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