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Report - Crete - United States Air Force Iraklion Air Station

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by Ogof, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. Ogof

    Ogof Big Member
    28DL Full Member

    Aug 13, 2008
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    ** PIC HEAVY **

    While on holiday in Crete I visited the abandoned USAF Iraklion Air Station on a baking hot day. Spent 5 hours wandering around the place with a midday lunch in the Creteaquarium which is on part of the site. You don't exactly need ninja skills for this one.... the bus driver drops you off outside the main gate! There are no fences, the place is wide open, the tourist road train, exactly like the one on Eastbourne seafront drives right through the base for the tourists! The place is huge and although I think i went in most of the buildings I'm sure i missed some.

    The pileys and chavs have done their thing with the only difference really being the lack of decay from water damage in the mediteranean climate. Used my D200 with SB600 flashgun as couldn't fit a tripod in my luggage and keep to the weight limit. Lame excuse I know...... but that's the beauty of shooting in raw, with some exposure adjustments!

    Here's a map link to the place. It's roughly the area bounded by the olive groves.

    A Little History of the Air Station
    (credited to http://mysite.verizon.net/yenrav/ias/)

    In 1948 the United States Air Force gained its own intelligence organization, the USAF Security Service (USAFSS), bringing it in line with the Army and its Army Security Agency and the Navy with its Naval Security Group. From initially 200 personnel the USAFSS had reached an authorized force of over 16,000 when in October 1954 a detachment of its 34th Radio Squadron Mobile at Wheelus Field, Libya, established Iraklion Air Station on the north shore of Crete.

    From the truly primitive accommodations of plywood Dallas huts and single communal latrine, the site evolved into a most hospitable assignment. The evolution of the structures on the station developed through the 1950's, 60's and 70's. The buildings were not the only things that evolved over the 39-year active life of Iraklion AS. The operational units serving there, and the Air Force itself, changed to no lesser degree.

    The Operational Unit Lineage

    The operational units - those performing the primary mission--at IAS were, in chronological order:

    * 34th Radio Squadron Mobile (RSM), Detachment 2
    - From October 1954

    * 6938th Radio Squadron Mobile (RSM)
    - From April 1955
    - The 6938th RSM may have been a redesignation of the 34th RSM, Det. 2

    * 6930th Radio Group Mobile (RGM)
    - From 1 April 1958
    - Relocated to IAS from Wheelus Field, Tripoli, Libya
    - Exchanged resources on paper with the 6938th RSM (no physical movement of either unit)

    * 6931st Security Group (SG)
    - From 1 July 1963
    - The 6931st SG was a redesignation of the 6930th RGM
    - Inactivated 1 October 1978

    * 6931st Security Squadron (SS)
    - From 1 July 1974
    - Organized subordinate to the 6931st SG

    * 6931st Electronic Security Squadron (ESS)
    - From 1 October 1979
    - The 6931st ESS was a redesignation of the 6931st SS
    - Inactivated 30 September 1993

    Air Force Command Chronology

    Units at Iraklion Air Station were subordinate to these Air Force commands:

    * U.S. Air Force Security Service (USAFSS)
    - Until 31 July 1979

    * U.S. Air Force Electronic Security Command (USAFESC)
    - 1 August 1979 to 30 September 1991

    * Air Force Intelligence Command (AFIC)
    - 1 October 1991 to 30 September 1993

    The day after Iraklion AS was inactivated, 1 October 1993, the Air Force Intelligence Command was reorganized as the Air Intelligence Agency (AIA). On 1 February 2001 the AIA was made subordinate to the Air Combat Command. Effective 7 May 2007, the Air Intelligence Agency was redesignated the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency (Air Force ISR Agency), reporting to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (A2).

    The United States Air Force Iraklion Air Station base


    Perimeter watch tower

    View from the watch tower

    The walkway around the top of the watch tower was very unstable and the 'handrail' was next to useless

    View from the watch tower

    This building was a great surprise!

    The base cinema/theatre

    An obligitory lone chair shot....

    Projection room but alas no projector

    The stage and auditorium

    Vote for me!

    Alot of the buildings look identical from the outside and it's quite easy to loose track of where you've been

    Electrical distribution building



    What is it with lone chairs?





    Bowling Centre

    Bowling centre lanes area


    Minoan Inn hotel

    Guards gatehouse

    The Iraklion Air Station Fire Department!

    I tried ringing but no-one answered..

    I have no idea what this is

    It was a very enjoyable and relaxed wander, hope you found the pictures interesting

    Attached Files:

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  2. Ogof

    Ogof Big Member
    28DL Full Member

    Aug 13, 2008
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    Huge office areas

    Air conditioning plant

    One of the buildings currently being redeveloped. There are quite a few buildings that have been turned into offices, a nursery, etc.. through parts of the site

    It would appear their chavs and pikeys are no different to ours!

    Some pumping equipment near the huge water tanks

    Nightclub complete with 70's mirror wall...

    Food servery area in the nightclub

    Huge grilling oven for that wonderful Greek food

    Storage unit

    Attached Files:

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