The 114th Combat Wing

Tanagra Air Base (Τανάγρα) is placed in the eastern part of central Greece, not far from the capital Athens. It is home of the 114th Combat Wing (114 Πτέρυγα Μάχης), which is in charge of two groups, the 331th All Weather Squadron (331 Μοίρα Παντός Καιρού) and the 332th All Weather Squadron (332 Μοίρα Παντός Καιρού), the first with a Mirage 2000-5Mk2EG/BG, while the second still fly  the older Mirage 2000EG/BG. Wing task is to maintain a high level of readiness and efficiency, obtained with a rigorous organization and training. It is also responsible for the safety of  flight operations at any time.

Mirage F1
Mirage 2000-5BG
The 114th Combact Wing was formed August 22, 1956 at Tanagra Air Base. The wing at that time included the 341st, 342nd and 343rd Interception Squadron, all equipped with F-86E Saber. But already in 1958 the 343rd fighter group was transferred to the 111th Combat Wing at Nea Anghialos Air Base. A year later, exactly on November 13, 1959 until May 13, 1960 were deployed also the T-33A Silver Star of the 361st Squadron. 1960 was a year full of new to the wing, in fact, on 14 January the 341 ° Sqn was transferred from the 114th to the 111th Combat Wing of Nea Anghialos and on the 18 May the 335th Sqn, operating the F -84F Thunderstreak, from the 116th Combat Wing was reassigned to the 114th Combat Wing. Two years later, in June 1962 also from the 342nd Sqn was reassigned to 111th Combat Wing. So the 114th Combat Wing has only one group equipped with the old F-84F but since April 1964, with the delivery of the first F/TF-104G, as the F-84F were stored. In 1965 the wing was extended, in fact, the 336th Sqn, also equipped with F-104G was added. But this move did not last long. In early as 16 December 1966, the 336th Sqn was reassigned to the 116th Combat Wing of Araxos.
But not before the wing accepted an operating flight simulator for the Starfighter in April of that year. To reinforce the Wing was reinstated on February 16, 1967 the 342nd, which became 342nd All Weather Squadron when it received the new F/TF-102 Delta Dagger. After all these changes, for ten years, things remained stable until August 4, 1975 after the landing of the first F-1CG to retrofit the 342 ° All Weather Sqn. A year later, in September 1976 was also formed 366 Taining Flight with the T-33 Silver Stars. Although the first F-1CG were already there, only in 1977 the last F-102 were disqualified. Also between May and 30 June 1977 was formed the 334th All Weather Squadron, equipped with Mirage F-1CG, and the 335th Sqn was transferred to the 116th Combat Wing at Araxos. In 1988/1989 were ordered the new Mirage 2000EG/BG which equipped two new group, the 331st and the 332nd Sqn. The two groups were formed officially on 18 April 1988 and August 11, 1989. On July 12, 2000 the 334th was closed, followed by 342nd All Weather Sqn on June 30, 2003, marking the end of the Mirage F1CG in the Greek air force. Also in 2000 were ordered new Mirage 2000-5Mk2EG/BG (in part from scratch, in part to new construction) that equipped the 331st All Weather Squadron.

The 331st All Whather Squadron “Thiseas”

The 331st Sqn was established April 18, 1988, at Tanagra Air Base under the 114th Combact  Wing to integrate the third-generation fighter Mirage 2000EG/BG.The first 4 M-2000 landed at the airbase on August 27, 1988, assigned to the 331st Sqd. Then the pilots started the training. The first to train were pilots very experienced with  many fliyng hours Mirage F-1CG and F-4E. The group task was to ensure the air cover of the capital and the Aegean Sea, including some operating from FOB scattered islands in the Aegean. Since 2000, the group passed on Mirage 2000-5mk2EG. So its operational capabilities were greatly increasing. Recently, between 9 March 2009 and April 3, 2009, the 331st Sqd took part in successfully  to the TLP 09.2 for the first time with 4 Mirage 2000-5mk2EG.

Mirage 2000-5EG

Mirage 2000-5BG
The 332nd All Weather Squadron “Geraki”

The 332nd Sqn was established on 11 August 1989 based on Tanagra placed in the 114th Wing Combact with Mirage 2000EG/BG.Il November 1, 1989 the group received 14 Mirage. Again the first pilots to prepare for the new fighter pilots were experts from the Mirage F-1CG and F-4E community. A year later, exactly in November 1990, the group successfully passed the evaluation required by the Hellenic Tactical Air Force. Since then, the 332nd Sqd is part of the warning system HAF, making interception missions over the Aegean sea and protecting the capital Athens, as happened during the 2004 Olympics. The training of new pilots is secured by the Mirage 2000 Flight Training. Currently the group operates with the Mirage 2000EG/BG outdated and is currently not expected to upgrade them.

The History of the Mirage2000EG in the Elliniki Polemiki Aeroporia (Greek Air Force)

The Greek air force along with 8 other nations flyies with Mirage2000, multi-role fighter, with strong emphasis on the air-air component, with a delta wing developed and manufactured by French Dassault. The EPA have a total of 45 Mirage2000 of 4 different versions mostly used for air defense. In fact the beginning of March 1985 ordered by "Talos" contract 36 Mirage2000EG single-seater and 4 twin-seater Mirage2000BG. They are equipped with a suite for defensive countermeasures ICMS 1, characterized by two small antennas near the top of the tailfin. Moreover Mirage Greeks are able to use the AM39 Exocet anti-ship missiles. Which makes this version even anti-ship, something unique for Mirage2000. In 2000, then Greece ordered 15 new Mirage2000-5Mk2EG addition to including the upgrade of an additional 10 aircraft, already supplied with the EPA, to the same standard. In September 2004 the first Mirage2000-5 landed at the Tanagra Airbase. These aircraft are different from their predecessors because they have a radar RDY-2 Synthetic Aperture updated and improved inertial system. Also a greater number of pylons for the launch of weapons are available from which missiles MICA and MICA IR can be launched, plus a number of additional defensive suite. While actively participating in exercises and operations with NATO and national air defense operations, such as the CAP missions over Athens for the Olympic Games, just once the EPA Mirage opened fire. On October 8, 1996, in fact, during a dogfight with a Turkish fighter occurred over Imia / Kardak a Mirage 2000EG fired an R550 Magic missile that shoot down an F-16D. Of the two pilots aboard the turkish fighter only one ejected and was recovered by the air forces of Greece. Turkish government claimed that the F-16D was conducting a training mission north of the Greek island Samos, near the Turkish peninsula.

Text by Marco Sommacal



We thank all the staff of the 114th Combat Wing and the 331st and 332nd Mira and Security Office. Thanks, finally, to Col. Roberto Cattaneo of the Italian Embassy in Greece for made possible this day.