French Air Force ALA Patch Ftr cb 3 3 EC Escadron Chasse Or 02 a
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French Air Force ALA Patch Ftr cb 3 3 EC Escadron Chasse Or 02 a

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  • Item #: 1P 06FR 1FAF 04WNG 1OP 0303EC 08
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French Air Force ALA Patch Escadron De Chasse EC 3 3 Ardennes Fighter Squadron Nancy BA 133 Mirage 2000D Escadrilles BR 44 1 And 2 Operation Heracles Afghanistan 2002 Embroidered on twill merrowed edge 101mm four inches diameter.

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Following the end of WW2 Escadre de Chasse 3 continuing to use its EC designation comprising Groupe de Chasse GC I/4 Navarre with SPA 95 as Escadrille 1 and SPA 153 as Escadrille 2 together with Groupe de Chasse GC I/5 Champagne with SPA 67 as Escadrille 1 and SPA 75 as Escadrille 2 equipped with P 47 Thunderbolt fighters relocated from its last fighting bases in Alsace to garrison at Trier AB Germany in September 1945. For aircraft maintenance EC 3 had a support squadron Escadron de Soutien Technique Aéronautique (Technical Support Squadron) ESTA 2E 003 Malzéville.

EC 3 relocated to Aerial Base BA 136 Friedrichshafen Germany in May 1947 and on 1 July 1947 its Groupe de Chasse were redesignated with GC I/4 Navarre renamed GC I/3 Navarre retaining SPA 95 and SPA 153 while GC I/5 Champagne was renamed GC II/3 Champagne retaining SPA 67 and SPA 75. EC 3 reequipped with Spitfire Mk IX fighter aircraft in June 1948 before relocating to Indochina in September 1948 to relieve EC 4 taking over the Spitfire Mk IX fighters they had used.

EC 3 left Indochina in April 1950 leaving the Spitfires for their relief EC 5 and returned to France.  Escadre de Chasse formed up at Aerial Base BA 11 Reims Champagne. Groupe de Chasse designartions were changed on 1 September 1950 to Escadre de Chasse with GC I/3 Navarre becoming EC 1/3 Navarre and GC II/3 Champagne becoming EC 2/3 Champagne. EC 3 sent personnel for transition training to Vampire jet fighter aircraft at BA 118 Mont-de-Marsan and became operational with Vampire jet fighters in October 1950. EC 3 began reequipping with F 84E and F 84G Thunderjet fighter aircraft in February 1951 with its last Vampire leaving on 29 March 1951.

The Wing activated its third Squadron Escadron de Chasse 3/3 Ardennes on 1 January 1953 with Escadrilles III/3 1 and III/3 2 equipped with F 84 E and G Thunderjets. EC 3 began to upgrade to F 84F Thunderstreak fighter aircraft in May 1955 with all three Squadrons fully operational in May 1956.

EC 3 began supporting combat operations in Algeria in March 1956 deploying pilots to Tébessa Air Base and AB 211 Telergma to Light Aviation Support Squadron Escadrille d'Aviation Légère d'Appui EALA 1/71 flying SIPA S.111 light attack aircraft for counter insurgency operations. EC 3 in conjuction with EC 9 also provided pilots for EALA 4/72 from July 1956.

EC 3 deployed its three Escadrons to RAF Akrotiri Cyprus in September 1956 undertaking combat ground attack operations against Egyptian air bases in conjunction with British Royal Air Force Squadrons. EC 2/3 Champagne returned to BA 11 Reims Champagne in November 1956 with EC 1/3 Navarre returning in December 1956 and EC 3/3 Ardennes in March 1957.

In June 1957 EALA 1/71 in Algeria was redesignated EALA 19/72 and reequipped with T 6G Texan light attack aircraft becoming one of Groupe d'Aviation Légère d'Appui GALA 72s 21 EALAs.

EC 3/3 Ardennes with its Escadrilles III/3 1 and III/3 2 were disbanded on 15 November 1957.

EC 3 concluded its pilot support deployments to EALA 19/72 in Algeria in June 1958 when EC 13 took over and to EALA 4/72 in September 1958.

EC 3s two remaining Escadron EC 1/3 Navarre with SPA 95 and SPA 153 and EC 2/3 Champagne with SPA 67 and SPA 75 reequipped with F 100 Super Sabre fighter bomber aircraft in January 1959 and was assigned to 4 Allied Tactical Air Force ATAF for NATO operations. EC 3 relocated to BA 139 Lahr West Germany replacing EC 13 tasked with tactical nuclear attack missions on Quick Reaction Alert QRA standby.

EC 2/3 Champagne with SPA 67 and SPA 75 commenced reequipping with Mirage IIIE in October 1965 by quickly followed by EC 1/3 Navarre with SPA 95 and SPA 153 in November 1965 relinquishing the tactical nuclear attack role and retasking for air defense and tactical ground attack with a five minute QRA standby.

With France leaving NATO EC 3 relocated from Lahr West Germany to BA 133 Nancy-Ochey in August 1967 tasked with low altitude air defence cover of French Strategic Air Force Forces Aériennes Stratégiques air bases. With the introduction of the AS 30 guided missile weapons system in 1969 EC 3 changed its primary mission to tactical ground attack with air defense as a secondary mission. EC 3 equipped with AS 37 Martel anti radar missiles in 1970 adding suppression of enemy air defence SEAD radar systems to its tasking.

EC 3 reactivated Escadron de Chasse 3/3 Ardennes with its Escadrilles III/3 1 and III/3 2 on 1 July 1974 equipped with Mirage 5F fighter aircraft before reequipping with Jaguar aircraft in April 1977. EC 3/3 Ardennes deployed it Jaguars to Chad on 6 January 1987 to counter a Libyan backed offensive using Martel missiles to neutralize Libyan air defence radars and precision laser guided bombing missions. EC 3/3 reequipped with Mirage IIIE fighter aircraft on 1 June 1987.

EC 2/3 Champagne began transition to the Mirage 2000N K2 nuclear fighter bomber aircraft on 31 July 1991 retasked for nuclear strike attack. EC 2/3 Champagne is assigned a third Escadrille SPA 102 on 27 August 1992. EC 1/3 Navarre with SPA 95 and SPA 153 and EC 3/3 Ardennes with its Escadrilles III/3 1 and III/3 2 reequipped with Mirage 2000D fighter bomber aircraft in March 1994. EC 3 deployed elements including EC 2/3s Mirage 2000N K2 to Italy for Operation Crecerelle over Bosnia in 1994. EC 3/3 Ardennes was assigned a third Escadrille BR 44 on 1 August 1994. EC 1/3 Navarre was assigned a third Escadrille SPA 62 in January 1995. Missions over Bosnia were undertaken in 1995 with Operation Deliberate Force with deployments continued including EC 3/3 to Istrana AB Italy for Operation Trident part of Op Allied Force with the Squadron engaged in the bombing campaign in April 1999.   

Escadre de Chasse EC 3 was disbanded on 23 June 1995 leaving EC 1/3 Navarre with SPA 95 SPA 153 and SPA 62 EC 2/3 Champagne with SPA 67 SPA 75 and SPA 102 and EC 3/3 Ardennes with its Escadrilles III/3 1 and III/3 2 as independent units. EC 2/3 Champagne reequipped with Mirage 2000D fighter bomber aircraft in August 1998. EC 1/3 deployed to support international forces in Afghanistan in February 2002 with EC 3/3 deploying to Manas Air Base Kyrgyzstan for Operation Heracles March to September 2002 for missions with its laser guided missiles. EC 1/3 deployed for Operation Harmattan in 2011 with combat missions on targets in Libya. EC 1/3 2/3 and 3/3 began regular rotational combat deployments to Mali in 2013 and to Operation Chammal Iraq in 2014 undertaking precision laser guided bombing missions against ISIS.

Escadre de Chasse EC 3 was reactivated at BA 133 Nancy Ochey on 5 September 2014 to control its traditional Escadron EC 1/3 Navarre EC 2/3 Champagne and EC 3/3 Ardennes together with a fourth Squadron Escadron de Transformation ETD 2/7 Argonne with Escadrilles SPA 31 and SPA 48 equipped with Mirage 2000D aircraft to carry out conversion training. EC 3 maintenance support provided by ESTA 2E-003 Malzéville. ETD 4/7 Argonne was redesignated ETD 4/3 Argonne on 1 September 2016. EC 3 ended its commitment to Operation Chammal in 2016 and continued its deployments to support Operation Barkhane in Mali.

This patch dates from 2002. 

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