31 Search & Rescue Operations Squadron


“Tων δ’ επιλέκτων η Αρετή” (Virtue is for the bold and brave)

Last words of Aristotle in the phrase:
“Pleasure is the aim of the majority, glory the aim of the distinctive and virtue the aim of the remarkable”

The Squadron’s emblem is decorated with the Achilles’ shield, the Zeus eagle which is a strength and superiority symbol and represents the air rescue operations, and the snake which as a revival symbol refers to first aid support. The «Α» comes from the name «Achilles» and is the call-sign in peacetime, while the thunder represents the telecommunication and the reaction rate.


112 Combat Wing – Elefsina Air Base




The 31st Squadron’s mission is to maintain efficiency and readiness to a high standard with the appropriate organization, personnel training, and maintenance of the assets and systems provided for, in order to assume and successfully carry out Search and Rescue operations, battleground SAR operations and specialized operations whenever required, according to HAF’s leadership commands.


  • 1995 Study for SEDEA formation
  • 1997 Approval of SMEE operational philosophy
  • 1998 Starting the Manning
  • 1999 1st AAOD Readiness
  • 2001 Upgrading of SMEE to 31st Special Operations Squadron
  • 2003 31st Special Operations Sqn subordination to the Air Force Support Command (AFSC)
  • 2008 The squadron is renamed to 31 Search & Rescue Operations Squadron


The personnel training is multi-faceted and has a leading part in Squadron’s activities during peacetime, following the HAF’s institutional creed «Be trained as you will fight». The training is divided into 3 phases, Initial, specialized and sustained, including a wide range of activities, which are conducted in schools of all the three branches of the Hellenic armed forces, as well as abroad. Also, a wide range of cooperation and joint-training with hand-picked units inland and abroad, supplements the training.


A squadron’s officer has at his disposal high-tech equipment, compatible to corresponding allied unit standards. Thus, he is able to accomplish his mission regardless of the circumstances, day or night, weather conditions or terrain.

Missions Variations

  • Provide emergency medical care.
  • Casualty recovery and evacuation.
  • Establish communications for the Squadron’s operational support.
  • Airbase Protection – guarding of special targets – suppression of enemy commando action.
  • Cooperation during hijacking operations with the support of HAF aircraft.
  • Protection of transport operations both inland and abroad.
  • Participation in humanitarian missions.
  • Target designation in enemy territory. Sabotage – destruction of high operational value targets.