Captain Kosmas Chalaris of the Hellenic Air Force has been named “Best Warrior” Pilot of NATO’s 18-3 Tactical Leadership Program (TLP).
Supported by the governments of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom and the U.S., the TLP, based in Albacete, Spain, prepares NATO forces for worldwide tactical air operations.
“First of all, you have to really want it because the training, both at the academy and later on, is very demanding and grueling,” Captain Chalaris said. The captain spoke in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (AMNA) about what it takes to gain the “Best Warrior” honor.
Chalaris belongs to the 331st All-Weather Squadron of the 114th Combat Wing of the Air Force.
“The first stage that is needed is to really truly want it and the next stage, obviously, is to work as much as possible, to give up things, including personal time with the family and whatever that entails,” he said.
Speaking of the experience of going up against NATO’s top pilots, Chalaris stated that the successes of the Greek Air Force personnel are not only the result of professionalism but also their love of their jobs.
“We do not go with the goal of coming first, we go simply to be ourselves, to do what we do every day and the rest comes by itself,” he noted.
He explained that for a fighter jet pilot in the Hellenic Air Force, the same parameters apply at all times, irrespective of the circumstances: training and operational action and function.
Apart from professionalism, it could just be that HAF pilots have that extra passion for their work and a desire to do a good job, he added.