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Participants, Greece

Orchestra of the Air Force of Greece (Hellenic Air Force Band)

2011, 2012

Hellenic Air Force Band was founded in Athens in 1946, and is under the command of the Hellenic Air Force General Staff.

It consists of senior and junior officers - high-level musicians, who studied at various conservatories of the country and were admitted into the ranks of the Air Force, after passing certain examination.

The responsibilities of the band are receptions of the foreign heads of state and prime ministers, accompanying ceremonies at the Presidential Palace and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. In addition, the band participates in the receptions of heads of Armed Forces and the delegates of the Air Forces.

The Hellenic Air Force Band) takes part in national parades, processions, both public and on major religious holidays.

In addition, the band takes part in the ceremony of the taking of oath by school graduates of the Air Force Academies.

The band has participated in several international military festivals (France, Korea, USA, Italy, and Malta). Every three years the band participates in the 5th Avenue parade in New York, dedicated to March 25th, 1821 (The Independence Day of Greece).

The band performs not only on military and official events, but also participates in various municipal concerts with Greek and foreign classical repertoire.

A small part of the band consist the orchestra which takes part in social and recreational activities performing in nursing homes, associations for the disabled, etc.

Major Vasileios  Kounadis

Major Vasileios  Kounadis is the  conductor and the Commander of the band.  Born in 1960 in Athens, joined the Air Force in 1980. He studied music at the “Apollonio” Conservatory and has a degree in band conducting, organization and management. He is also a trumpet player.

Hellenic Air Force Technical NCO Academy (Drill Team)

The Hellenic Technical NCO Academy was established in February 1949. The duration of studies at the Academy is two years and each year divided into two semesters.

Education is divided into: Academic and Physical Education and Military Training. Academic Education aims at providing the Cadets with knowledge and skills on the domain of their specialty. At the same time it aims at the cultivation of creative scientific thought and the familiarization with research so that the future officers of the Hellenic Air Force are capable of complying with the evolution of air systems.

Along with Academic Education, Military Training and Physical Education is the Academy’s basic mission and it aims at providing high-level knowledge. That way, after graduation, Cadets will be able to accomplish their mission as standing officers of the Air Force. Part of the Cadets’ interests is the formation of various teams (football, basketball, swimming, shooting and others) to compete other NCO teams in the Armed Forces tournaments. One of these Teams is the “Drill Team”.

Their program is brand new and is the first time that they will present such a program in cooperation with the Hellenic Air Force Band  for  “Spasskaya Tower” military –music festival in Moscow in 2012.  Notice that the “Drill Team” rehearses its routine in the “free” time of the Academy’s program.

100th anniversary of the Hellenic Air Force “100 years always dominate the heights”

Myth says that, in 1400 BC, Daedalus fell out of favor with King Minos, and to escape from the island of Crete, he created a set of enormous wings for himself and his son Icarus.

Flying to his freedom, Icarus disobeyed his father and flew up into the sky – too close to the sun. The wax, which held the feathers wings together, melted and Icarus died in the waters of the Aegean Sea. Daedalus had found his son's body and buried him at a nearby island in later named as “Icaria”.

The death of Icarus, in essence, is the first sacrifice or an offering at the altar, supporting the worlds “ideology of aviation.”

The Story of Icarus is known to all the Air Force Academies of the world.

“The idea of Aviation” developed in Greece since 1911, when the Greek Government appointed French specialists to create aerial duty in Greece.

Until 1930 the aerial service personnel were drawn from senior and junior officers of the Army and Navy. In 1930, the Ministry of Aviation was established as an independent unit, and in 1934 it was renamed to the Air Force General Headquarters.

History of the Air Force:

8th of February 1912 in Greece has made its first flight on the Nieuport aircraft with an engine of 50 horsepower. On the same day a second flight took place, where the Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos took part as a second pilot.

On May 13, 1912 A Greek pilot took its first flight on a Henri Farman military aircraft.

In June 1912 a seaplane was flown at an average speed of 110 km / h, which was a new world record.

January 24th, 1913, for the first time in world history naval aviation co-operated on a flight over the Straits of the Dardanelles, which was a milestone in the history of maritime operations.

The Balkan wars 1912-13

1917 First World War

1919-1922 Asia Minor

1940-1941 Second World War

1941-1943 Operations in the Middle East on the Allied side

1950 Korean War

1954 First generation of jet aircraft

1974. Second generation of jet aircraft

1988. Third generation jet aircraft

The inscription on the emblem of the Hellenic Air Force General Staff says "Aien Ipsikratin" which means "Always dominate the heights"

This phrase is attributed to Wing Commander (later Air-Vice Marshal) Spyros Papaspyros, C.O. of Gaza Reception Center, who, in the Order of the Day of October 5, 1941, welcomed to Egypt the personnel of the 335 Squadron, the first Hellenic Fighter Squadron established in the Middle East.

Direction of the Festival

Official site of the Festival