|Hunter Squadron 1/7 Provence|
|Escadron de Chasse 1/7 Provence|
Insignia of the Escadron
|Active||October 1932 - present|
|Branch||French Air Force|
|Role||Bombardment & Arial Defense|
|Part of||Fighter Brigade|
|Garrison/HQ||Al Dhafra Air Base|
|Equipment||Rafale B & C|
|Website||Official Website (in French)|
The Escadron de Chasse or Fighter Squadron 1/3 Navarre or EC 1/7 Provence (Escadron de Chasse 1/7 Provence) is a French Air Force fighter squadron currently stationed at Al Dhafra Air Base since June 24, 2016.
In 2006 it was the first unit to fly the Dassault Rafale. The Squadron's aircraft are marked 113-HA to 113-HZ.
History[edit | edit source]
Designations and different nominations[edit | edit source]
- Groupe de Chasse I/7 : from 1932 until October 1942
- Groupe de Chasse I/7 Provence : from November 1, 1943 until July 1, 1947
- Groupe de Chasse I/1 Provence : from July 1, 1947 until November 17, 1951
- Escadron de Chasse 1/7 Provence : as of March 1, 1962
Origins until the Second World War[edit | edit source]
The EC 1/7 Provence originated as Groupe de Chasse 1/7 GC 1/7 (Hunter Group) Dijon in 1932 which itself traces its origin back to two World War I wings: SPA 15 (Casque de Bayard) and SPA 77 (Croix de Jérusalem). In January 1939 the fighter group 1/7 relocated to Tunisia, and subsequently moved to Egypt after the 1940 armistice. It was disbanded in October 1942.
Successive attachments[edit | edit source]
- 1ere Escadre de Chasse (French language: 1ere Escadre de chasse) : du 1 au 17
- 7e Escadre de Chasse (French language: 7e Escadre de chasse) : du 1 au 22
- 4e Escadre de Chasse (French language: 4e Escadre de chasse) : du 26 au 24
Indochina and Algeria[edit | edit source]
GC 1/7 was recreated in September 1943 using Spitfire MK VB and participated in the North Africa campaign, the campaign to liberate Corsica and the Provence landings, thus giving it the name Provence. At the end of World War II, the unit was awarded the "Croix de guerre 1939–1945 (France)" and from December 1945 to January 1946, the fighter group received a consignment of captured Japanese Nakajima ki-43 "Hayabusa" fighter planes. Groupe de Chasse 1/7 received its first Mistral in April 1953, participated in the Algerian war and was reequipped with Mystère IV operating out of Dijon military base. It was disbanded in September 1961.
The Escadron de Chasse 1/7 Provence was recreated in March 1962 at Nancy – Ochey 133 Air Base, using Mystère IV. In 1973, the Squadron became the first Air force unit to be equipped with SEPECAT Jaguar and relocated to Saint-Dizier-Robinson 113 Air Base. 1/7 Provence Jaguars engaged in combat missions in Mauritania (1978), in Chad (1980's), in the Gulf War (1990-1991) and in Bosnia. After the Escadron de Chasse 2/11 Vosges (French language: Escadron de chasse 2/11 Vosges) was disbanded, 1/7 Provence was expanded to 3 flights: la SPA 91 (Eagle on a skull) in December 1996.
The Jaguar (JAG) époque[edit | edit source]
The Rafale époque[edit | edit source]
The Jaguars were retired in July 2005 and replaced by Rafale one year later. In January 2007 1/7 Provence Squadron had twenty Rafale B and C. In March 2007 three Rafales were deployed to Dushanbe in Tajikistan, and carried out their first patrol over Afghanistan two days later.
Constituent Escadrille[edit | edit source]
- SPA 15 Casque de Bayard
- GC III/7(6) Furie (since August 24, 2016)
Bases[edit | edit source]
- Saint-Dizier – Robinson Air Base
- Haguenau Airport: From December 25, 1944 until January 2, 1945
- Po Chen Tong Air Base (French language: Base de Po Chen Tong) : from November 17, 1945 until July 1, 1947
- Aerial Base 141 Oran la Sénia (French language: fr:Base aérienne 141 Oran la Sénia) : from April 1947 until end of 1950
- Aerial Base 156 Bizerte Sidi Ahmed (French language: fr:Base aérienne 156 Bizerte Sidi Ahmed) : end of 1950 until December 1961 de fin 1950 à décembre 1961
- Aerial Base 133 Nancy-Ochey (French language: fr:Base aérienne 133 Nancy-Ochey) : from December 1961 until May 1973
- Aerial Base 113 Saint-Dizier-Robinson (French language: fr:Base aérienne 113 Saint-Dizier-Robinson) : from May 1973 until June 24, 2016
- Al Dhafra Air Base (Base aérienne 104 Al Dhafra) : since June 24, 2016
Aircraft[edit | edit source]
- Nakajima Ki-43 II Hayabusa (from 1945 to 1946)
- Supermarine Spitfire (from 1946 to 1953)
- De Havilland Vampire (from 1953 to 1962)
- Mystère IV (from 1962 to 1973)
- SEPECAT Jaguar (from 1973 to 2005)
- Alpha Jet (2001–2007, aircraft marked 7-PA to 7-PZ)
- Dassault Rafale (since 2006)
References[edit | edit source]
- "Escadron de chasse 01.007 " Provence "" (in French). French MoD. http://www.defense.gouv.fr/air/activites/unites-aeriennes/escadrons-de-chasse/escadron-de-chasse-01.007-provence. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
- Première mission des Rafale en Afghanistan
[edit | edit source]
- 1/7 Provence fighter squadron on the defence Ministry website (French)
- German Plane shot down by Escadrille 77 in 1917
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