354 Tactical Transport Squadron

Emblem

Emblem: Pegasus
Call Sign: PEGASUS

Location

112 Combat Wing – Elefsina Air Base

Established

1970

Aircraft served

  • Nord N2501D Noratlas

Aircraft serving

  • C-27J Spartan

Mission

The Squadron’s mission is to conduct tactical and operational air transfers for the HAF and other branches of the Hellenic Armed Forces. It also takes part in Serch & Rescue operations, Aerial firefighting, Health rescue operations.

History

The 354 Tactical Transport Squadron (TTS) was established on May 16th, 1970 at the 112 Combat Wing (CW) and equipped with the newly acquired transport airplanes NORD N2501D NORATLAS. At the beginning 16 airplanes were delivered to the squadron, so as to supply the tasks which the legendary C-47 DACOTA carried out since then. Later on the airplanes’ number would reach 51, which until then served the German Aviation needs.

On November 20, 1969 the first aircrews and technicians fly to WUNSTORF Germany, the base of Transportation Aircraft Academy, for theoretical training. Following that, operational training took place at KAUFBOREN and OLDENBURG, where the personnel was incorporated to a German Squadron and carried out routine missions. It was five months of intensive training.

The newly established Squadron had the Pegasus as their emblem. It was subordinated operationally and administratively to the 28th Tactical Air Force HQ. The squadron’s mission was to provide transportation services necessary to fulfil HAF’s and other branches’ of Armed forces regular transportation requirements.

In a short time and despite adversities, the squadron was fully developed with personnel and means and became the major transportation squadron of the HAF. Eight months after the squadron’s formation, 14 NORATLAS airplanes carried out paratroopers and supply airdropping missions on a single sortie to the Alistratis, Seres dropping range, while in 1973 the squadron was successfully evaluated by NATO. NORATLAS also were the airplanes which accomplished airdropping missions of the first women parachute jumpers, and also carried out mine-laying missions to the Greek seas.

On December 18th, 1976, the word «Tactical» was added to the squadron’s name «354 Transport Squadron» in order to declare the wide scale of its tasks and missions. In the same year the squadron’s emblem is changed. Pegasus has now a different shape.

The highlight of 354 Squadron’s activity was the mission on July 21st and 22nd, 1974, to Cyprus (after the Turkish invasion) with the code name «VICTORY», which later was described as a «suicide mission».

In July 1980 the 354 Tactical Transport Squadron «lends» its airplanes to 355 Tactical Transport Squadron and continues its action operating as a NORATLAS aircraft Flight. On April 18th, 1982 the 354 TTS suspended its operation, after 12 years of continuous service, having accomplished a major operational and social service.

Today, 112 Combat Wing as the spearhead of the Hellenic Air Force Support Command, comes to cover up the increasing demands, with the new C-27 SPARTAN and the 354 Tactical Transport Squadron which was reformed on January 3, 2005.