The Greek pilot who was named “Best Warrior”
Fighter Pilot Kosmas Chalaris, Captain of a Mirage 2000-5, belongs to the 331st All-Weather Squadron of the 114th Combat Wing of the Hellenic Air Force in Tanagra. Continuing the tradition that the Hellenic Air Force belongs among the world’s elite, the Greek pilot was proclaimed “Best Warrior” during the NATO Tactical Leadership Program (TLP) 2018 held in Albacete, Spain.
“First of all, you have to really want it because the training, both at the academy and later on, is very demanding and gruelling. The first stage that is needed is to really truly want it and the next stage, obviously, is to work as much as possible, to give up things, including personal time with the family and whatever that entails”.
Talking to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency about the experience of going up against the top pilots of NATO air forces, Chalaris presented the successes of the Greek Air Force personnel as the result of professionalism but also a love of the job.
“We do not go with the goal of coming first, we go simply to be ourselves, to do what we do every day and the rest comes by itself,” he noted.
He explained that for a fighter jet pilot in the Hellenic Air Force, the same parameters apply at all times, irrespective of the circumstances: training and operational action and function.
“Apart from professionalism, it could just be that HAF pilots have that extra passion for their work and a desire to do a good job”, he added.
Supported by the governments of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom and the U.S., the TLP, based in Albacete, Spain, prepares NATO forces for worldwide tactical air operations, such as AI: Aerial Interdiction, OCA, Slow Mover Protection / Attack, TST, Destruction of Enemy Air Defense, No Flying Zone, Near Air Support Missions ( CAS: Combat Air Support), PR and Rescue and Rescue (CSAR) in day and night conditions.
During the programme, the 331 squadrons undertook missions consistent with the mission on both National and NATO levels to familiarise and co-operate all personnel in accordance with its standards and procedures and Greek pilots proved to be world leading.These are particularly difficult missions requiring high military, intellectual and administrative capabilities.