01.007 Fighter Squadron "Provence"

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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 Brigade Aérienne de l'Aviation de Chasse
composed of 2 Escadrilles:
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 Hunter[1] Squadron 1/3 Navarre[2] or EC 1/7 Provence (French: Escadron de Chasse 1/7 Provence) is a French Air Force fighter[3] squadron currently stationed at Al Dhafra Air Base since June 24 2016.[4]

In 2006 it was the first unit to fly the Dassault Rafale. The Squadron’s aircraft are marked 113-HA to 113-HZ.


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]

  • 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]

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]

Indochina and Algeria[edit]

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: 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]

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]

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.[6]

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

Constituent Escadrille[edit]

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



See also[edit]



  1. ^ The French word "Chasseur" translates to "Hunter" in English, and while this is a Fighter aircraft, the actual translation is different. The word "Fighter/Combat Aircraft" translates to "Avion de Combat" in the French language.
  2. ^ When referring to a Escadron/Squadron of the French Air Force or any military unit in France, be careful (unless sure), the names after the numbers such as : "2/30 (number) "Normandie-Niemen" (official battle honor designation) actually sometimes designates locations, emblems or not, and mainly for military units referring to Battle honours inscriptions at these locations. Hence, a location would translate in any language to the same, usually, an emblem can be misinterpreted and Battle honours should not be translated. In addition, some of these unit squadrons are heir to others with direct official designations but different number sequences. On another hand, locations, emblems and battle honors can sometimes be misinterpreted and translated to another language (word) with a totally different word. Emblems also sometimes may refer to a region while they also could be wrongly misinterpreted. Therefore, it is better to keep their title designation in the French language (specially in case of military units which most harbor battle honor designations but not necessarily) and translate within the article itself, since some of these designated name designations/emblems/locations/battle honors have history behind them as well, where as a wrongly translated word or not (or composition word) would be incorrect in relation to a mentioned history designation of a Squadron/Escadron. For the reference, the previously stated would be related to Encyclopedic (Wikipedia) inter-languages integrity concepts which has no distinct official citation on a language Encyclopedia (in this case either French or English Wikipedia).
  3. ^ The word "Fighter" (in reference to a Fighter aircraft) in the English language doesn't exist in the French Air Force repertoire; therefore the article was created under the official French designation; however these are Fighter formations.
  4. ^ "Escadron de chasse 01.007 " Provence "" (in French). French MoD. Retrieved 16 December 2015. 
  5. ^ http://www.defense.gouv.fr/air/actus-air/nouvelles-escadres-aeriennes-une-coherence-operationnelle-accrue-des-valeurs-renforcees
  6. ^ Première mission des Rafale en Afghanistan
  7. ^ [1]

External links[edit]