Text: Philippe Decock - Pictures: Philippe Decock, Hellenic Air Force
Copyright sbap 2019©
 
 
Sedes Airbase and the 350 Guided Missile Wing
      
 Emblem: Tactical Air Support Emblem: 350 Guided Missile Wing
 
SEDES AIR BASE HISTORY

Sedes airfield was build during the Balkan Wars (October 1912 - July 1913) and has been used by Greek aircraft ever since, with a single interruption during the German occupation from April 1941 until October 1944.
During the First World War, under French command and Greek Deputy Commander, the first Greek pilots began their training at the "Allied Air Training Center".
At the beginning of 1919, with the retreat of the allied armies from the Macedonian Front, Sedes was assigned to the Hellenic Military Air Force and the Training Center was renamed "Military Aviation School".
In 1931, the "3rd Combat Group" was established, while in 1933 it was finally renamed "Sedes Air Base".
In 1939, the Unit operates as a "War Training Center" for pilots and observers with 3 Squadrons (the 21st, the 22nd and the 23rd Squadrons) equipped with PZL P.24 aircraft, which were used operationally during the Greek-Italian War in 1940-1941.
During the German occupation, Sedes was used as a base for Dornier Do-17Z and Junkers Ju-88 bomber/reconnaissance aircraft, Junkers Ju-52 transport aircraft and Messerschmitt Me-109 fighter aircraft.
In 1945, immediately after the end of the Second World War, the "1st Hellenic Air Force Combat Wing" was formed, with the 335 and the 336 Fighter Bomber Squadrons equipped with Spitfire Mk.IX & Mk.XVI.
In 1953, the Unit was renamed "113 Mixed Training Wing" and, in 1954, the "356 Air Transport Squadron" was established with Douglas C-47 Dakota aircraft.
In July 2005, the Headquarters of the 350 Guided Missiles Wing was transferred to Sedes Air Base.
It is worth mentioning that the runway in Sedes is the only one in use in Europe still paved with PSP, Pierced Steel Planking. The runway, however, can not be used by fixed-wing aircraft anymore but is still used by Hellenic Armed Forces helicopters on temporary deployment.

  
PZL P.24G
(©Hellenic Air Force archives)
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc
(©Hellenic Air Force archives)
Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk XVI
(©Hellenic Air Force archives)
Douglas C-47A Skytrain
(©Hellenic Air Force archives)
 
Sedes Airbase 350 GMW today
 
(Philippe Decock ©)
   
Bell-Douglas MIM-14 Nike-Hercules
(Philippe Decock ©)
Bell-Douglas MIM-3 Nike Ajax
(Philippe Decock ©)
A view on the old runway
(Philippe Decock ©)
The old PSP plates are still visible
(Philippe Decock ©)
The main building of Sedes airbase
(Philippe Decock ©)
Side view of the tower
(Philippe Decock ©)
The apron with the material
(Philippe Decock ©)
  
350 Guided Missile Wing
Moto : "WE TOO HAVE THE POWER TO DEFEND OURSELVES" (Homer)

According to the Hellenic Armed Forces Command Structure, 350 Guided Missiles Wing, is operationally and administratively subordinated to the Hellenic Tactical Air Force (HTAF).
The 350 Guided Missiles Wing was established in may 1960 with the Nike Hercules Missile system.
Four firing batteries were located in Keratea, 40km south-east of Athens ; Mount Imittos, the montain ridge east of Athens ; Mount Parnitha, 20km north of Athens and Kithaironas, about 40km north-west of Athens.
In September 1961, the 350 "NIKE" Squadron started to operate on a 24/7 basis after a successful NATO evaluation.
In July 1964, the Squadron was included in the NATO Nuclear Forces, after a successful Nuclear Safety Evaluation.
In July 1966, the 350 "NIKE" Squadron was upgraded and renamed 350 "NIKE" Group, while its Batteries became Squadrons.
In January 1989, 350 "NIKE" Group was completely released from the NATO nuclear section, and only uses conventional weapons.
In January 1999, 350 "NIKE" Group was upgraded to 350 Guided Missiles Wing after the Greek government's decision to procure the Patriot Surface-to-Air Weapons System, which would replace the old Nike Hercules Ground-to-Air Missile System.
In September 1999, the 21st, the 22nd, the 23rd Guided Missiles Squadrons and the 1st Information and Co-Ordination Centre (ICC), were established, using three PATRIOT PAC II systems that arrived in Greece.
In January 2002, the 24th, the 25th, the 26th Patriot Guided Missiles Squadrons and the 2nd Information and Co-Ordination Centre (ICC) were established.
In June 2002, the old PATRIOT PAC II system leased by the HAF started to be gradually replaced by the new PATRIOT PAC III system.
In July 2005, 350 Guided Missiles Wing Headquarters was transferred to Sedes Air Base.
In November 2005 and in July 2006 respectively, the 26th GMS and the 1st ICC were transferred to the 114 Combat Wing in Tanagra Air Base.
From November 28th, 2013 until December 6th, 2013, the 23rd GMS and the 24th GMS both successfully underwent NATO's "Entry-Level Assessment" or STARTASSES.
From March 3rd until March 13th 2015, the 23rd GMS and the 24th GMS both successfully underwent NATO's "Capability Evaluation" or CAPEVAL.
On August 1st, 2015, the 11th Guided Missiles Squadron was integrated into the 350 Guided Missiles Wing, after the operations of 126 Combat Group were suspended. This squadron is the only one equipped with the S-300 and TOR-M1 systems, both of Russian origin.
Between March 16th and March 19th 2015, the 23rd GMS and the 24th GMS successfully underwent a Tactical Firing in NAMFI. The 23rd GMS and the 24th GMS were awarded the characterization "MISSION CAPABILITY" from NATO.

350 GMW AVAILABLE ASSETS

The Unit is equipped with three Weapons Systems: the PATRIOT PAC-3 Weapons Systems, the S-300 and the TOR-M1.

  
 
MIM-104 Patriot PAC-3
  
Rear view of the AN/MSQ-104 and the AN/MPQ-53 Radar set
(Philippe Decock ©)
The AN/MPQ-53 Radar set on the left and the AN/MSQ-104 on the right
(Philippe Decock ©)
Rear view of the M901 launching station
(Philippe Decock ©)
The same M901 in ready status without the truck
(Philippe Decock ©)
One of the control station
(Philippe Decock ©)
Patriot launch on the Greek coast (MIM-104 Missile)
(Raytheon Company via web©)
(Raytheon Company via web ©) (Raytheon Company via web©)
 
The PATRIOT PAC-III weapon system is a mobile long range anti-aircraft system of American origin and has been operational with the Hellenic Air Force since 2003.
The PATRIOT's Phased Array Radar has the ability to execute high and low altitude surveillance, target detection, discrimination, identification and tracking, as well as missile tracking and guidance. It has the ability to engage threats in a sector of a hundred and twenty degrees with a range up to a hundred and seventy-one kilometers.
The System normally fights as a Battalion of Fire Units (FU) operating under the control of an Information and Co-Ordination Centre (ICC). Every Fire Unit is capable of tracking a hundred targets and can engage up to nine targets simultaneously. The maximum range of a PATRIOT missile is up to a hundred and sixty kilometers.
It's main components are:
o Information Coordination Center (ICC).
o Radar Set
o Engagement Control Station (ECS).
o Launching Stations.
The ECS unit can control up to 16 Launching Stations which can be dispersed and remotely operated inside a radius of thirty kilometers.
 
 
S-300PMU1 WEAPONS SYSTEM
 

The main truck with the missiles above
and the command post with the guidance radar
(Courtesy Hellenic Air Force©)
Launch trials in Greece
(Courtesy Hellenic Air Force©)
The control post of the S-300 system
(Courtesy Hellenic Air Force ©)
(Almaz Scientific Industrial Corporation©)
 
The S-300 weapon system normally fights as a Battalion, which consists of Fire Units operating under the control of a Command and Control Centre or CCC.
The C3s Phased Array Detection Radar and the Phased Array Illumination and Guidance Radar, have both the ability to execute high and low altitude surveillance, target detection, identification and tracking with a range up to three hundred kilometers. The maximum range of the S-300 missile is up to a hundred and fifty kilometers.
 
 
TOR-M1 WEAPONS SYSTEM
  
9A332/GM569 transporter launcher and radar, the TOR-M1 system
(Courtesy Hellenic Air Force ©)
Note the search radar on the top and the engagement radar
in front of the missile containers
(Courtesy Hellenic Air Force©)
Firing trials for this Hellenic Air Force TOR-M1
(Courtesy Hellenic Air Force ©)
General view of the TOR-M1 system
(Almaz-Antey media©)
The head of the late model 9M334 missiles
(Almaz-Antey media©)
9K330 early model
(Almaz-Antey media©)
 
The TOR-M1 weapon system is used for the protection of the S-300 Weapons System from low-altitude air threats, as it has the ability to execute medium and low altitude surveillance, target detection, identification and tracking, as well as missile tracking and guidance, under the command of the S-300 Command Post or autonomously.
The system normally fights as a Battery, which consists of Fire Units operating under the control of a Battery Command Post or BCP. Every TOR-M1 Fire Unit is capable of tracking fourty-eight targets and can engage two targets simultaneously with a range up to twenty-seven Kilometers. The maximum range of the TOR-M1 Missile is up to twelve kilometers.
 
 
Sedes Wrecks and Relics
 
Republic RF-84F Thunderflash (37682)
(Philippe Decock ©)
Canadair T-33AN Silver Star 3 21367 / TR-367 (cn T33-367)
(Philippe Decock ©)
Convair F-102A Delta Dagger (8-10) 0-61031 / 031 (cn 8-10-248)
(Philippe Decock ©)
Northrop F-5A Freedom Fighter 065 (cn N6436)
(Philippe Decock ©)
Lockheed TF-104G Starfighter 5708 / TF-708 (cn 5708)
(Philippe Decock ©)
Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star 35629 (cn 580-8968)
(Philippe Decock ©)
Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star TR-713
(Philippe Decock ©)
Nord N-2501D Noratlas 53-241 (cn D164)
(Philippe Decock ©)
Douglas C-47B Dakota Mk4 (DC-3A-467) KN542 / 542 (cn 16398/33146)
(Philippe Decock ©)
Six abandonned beauties...
(Philippe Decock ©)
Douglas C-47B Skytrain KN475
(Philippe Decock ©)
c/n 16204/32952
(Philippe Decock ©)
Douglas C-47A Skytrain 92638
(Philippe Decock ©)
c/n 9720
(Philippe Decock ©)
Douglas C-47A Skytrain 92634
(Philippe Decock ©)
c/n 13837
(Philippe Decock ©)
Douglas C-47A Skytrain 92627
(Philippe Decock ©)
c/n 4658
(Philippe Decock ©)
Douglas C-47B Skytrain KN575
(Philippe Decock ©)
c/n 16451/33199
(Philippe Decock ©)
Douglas C-47A Skytrain 92635
(Philippe Decock ©)
Serial unknown
(Philippe Decock ©)
Agusta-Bell AB-212ASW N° 11 from Hellenic Navy
(Philippe Decock ©)
 

On behalf of SBAP, I would like to thank the Embassy of Belgium in Athens, the Hellenic Air Force General Staff, Sedes Airbase Commanding Officer, the 350 GMW crew who was 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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