The Hellenic Air Force (HAF) (Greek: Πολεμική Αεροπορία, Polemikí Aeroporía, literally "Military Aviation") is the air force of Greece. It is the second largest Greek military branch and has about 33,000 personnel and additionally 30,000 are reserve. The Greek Air Force operates over 510 aircraft.
History[edit | edit source]
The Hellenic Air Force was founded in September 1912 (Army Aviation; 1930 as sepparate service) as the third Greek military branch. It took part on the following conflicts:
- First Balkan War (1912-1913)
- Second Balkan War (1913)
- World War I (1914-1918)
- Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922)
- Greco-Bulgarian War (1925)
- World War II (1939-1945)
- Korea War (1950-1953)
- Turkish Invasion of of Cyprus (1974)
Unfortunately, Greece spent a lot of money to upgrade its military over the last years, actually too much, the reasons were Turkish airspace violations and aircraft which flew over Greek Islands, so that Turkey was considered as a very dangerous threat. Only on one single day, 29 airspace violations were made and a Greek Mirage 2000 downed on 8th October 1996 a Turkish F-16D, but in 2006 a Greek pilot crashed into a Turkish plane, while trying to intercept it.
Mission[edit | edit source]
The mission of the Hellenic Air Force is to provide air superiority over the country and to defend it and its people against any threat and to help giving the Hellenic Navy and Army full freedom of action. During peacetime, the task of the Hellenic Air Force is to hold Air sovereignty over Greece, through air surveillance.