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Hunter Squadron 1/7 Provence
Escadron de Chasse 1/7 Provence
Insignia of the Escadron
Active October 1932 - present
Country France France
Branch French-roundel.svg French Air Force
Type Chasse Fr
Hunter Eng
Role Bombardment & Arial Defense
Part of Fighter Brigade
Garrison/HQ Al Dhafra Air Base
Equipment Rafale B & C
Website Official Website (in French)
Aircraft flown
Fighter Dassault Rafale

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.[1]

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]

One Jaguar from the Escadrille SPA 15 of Provence Provence, 2005.

Jaguar E37 7-HZ consvered at the Aviation Museum of Lyon-Corbas.

Rafale B Escadron Provence.

Rafale C Escadron Provence.

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]

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]

In July 2001 the squadron received several two-seat Jaguars and the Alpha Jets previously used by Escadron de Chasse 2/7 Argonne.

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.[3]

In September 2007, 1/7 Provence Squadron's Alpha Jets were transferred to the newly recreated EE 5/2 Côte d'Or (French language: Escadron d'entraînement 3/8 Côte d'Or).

Constituent Escadrille[edit | edit source]

  • SPA 15 Casque de Bayard
  • GC III/7(6) Furie (since August 24, 2016)

Bases[edit | edit source]

Aircraft[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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