358 Search and Rescue Squadron

358 Μοίρα Έρευνας - Διάσωσης

Emblem

Display: Faethon

Location

112 Combat Wing – Elefsina Air Base

Established

1958

Aircraft served

  • Helicopter Sikorsky H-19D
  • Helicopter Chinook CΗ-47C
  • Helicopter ΑΒ-206Α
  • Helicopter AS-332 Super Puma

Aircraft serving

  • Helicopter ΑΒ-205 Α1
  • Helicopter Β-212
  • Helicopter A-109E

Mission

The 358th Search and Rescue Squadron (SAR) is tasked with conducting Peace and War Search-Rescue operations in the land, sea and airspace, enclosed by the FIR of Athens, to meet international obligations under the International Civil Aviation Organization, International Maritime Organization, NATO (COMHTAF / COMSEVENATAF area of responsibility), and National obligations under Greek law and National Operational Plans. In addition, it performs air freight missions, staffing, media, cargoes as well as VIPs.

History

In 1958, the 357th Helicopter Cluster was formed, incorporating the first 4 Sikorsky H-19D helicopters based at Elefsina Air Base.

In 1967, thirteen (13) additional Sikorsky H-19B helicopters were received and the 357 was upgraded to Helicopter Squadron.

In 1969 the 357th Squadron merged with the 359th Civil Aviation Service Unit (359MAEDY).

In 1970, 359MAEDY relocated to Hellenic Air force Academy, Dekelia Air Base, Tatoi.

In June 1971, Italy received AB-205 A1 helicopters, replacing Sikorsky H-19 and AB-206 helicopters for PPC’s needs.

In 1976, six (6) more AB-205s and two (2) B-212s were received from the United States for the transportation of senior personnel. The B-212s joined the 352 VIP Transport Squadron and in 1981 two (2) more helicopters of the same type were added. This Flight remained independent until 1983, subject to 359MAEDY.

In November 1981, five (5) CH-47C Italian helicopters for personnel and materials transport were received from the Hellenic Air Force.

In 1983 the 358th Regular Squadron was formed with CH-47C, AB-205, B-212, and AB-206 helicopters and a year later, on December 10, 1984, it was relocated to 112 Combat Wing.

On 18 April 1989, the 358th Regular Squadron was renamed to 358th Search and Rescue Squadron.

In 1988, the CH-47C helicopters were assigned to the Army Land Forces.

In 1997 Squadron received two (2) more AB-205s from the Army Land Forces to enhance its fleet and to recover previous years’ losses.

In December 1999, the first two (2) of four (4) totally ordered AS-332 Super Puma helicopters were delivered, and the final delivery was completed in April. The Squadron was reinforced by staff from the Coast Guard.

In July 2003, the first two (2) AS-332 Super Puma Helicopters – Combat SARs were received, and in December of that year, two (2) more were delivered. In July 2004, two (2) more AS-332 Super Puma with CSAR capabilities were added, but due to the Olympics they were converted to MEDEVAC to support them.

In 2003, Squadron undertook air trips, taking over the remaining three (3) A-109 Power helicopters of the NAV and forming the National Emergency Center. This Flight became independent in 2005 under the name of the Flight Instant Help Helicopter.

On February 28, 2006, 358 Search and Rescue Squadron was splitted into three independent Squadrons at 358, with AB-205 and B-212 helicopters, 384 with AS-332 Super Puma helicopters and Helicopter Maintenance Squadron.

On November 17, 2011, the Flight Instant Help Helicopter was re-incorporated into 358 Search and Rescue Squadron.