Major Anastasios-Sotirios Palamidas, a Greek Fighter Flight Instructor in the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program (ENJJPT) at Sheppard AFB, Texas, has been recognized for his outstanding bravery under exceptional circumstances with the prestigious 80th Flying Training Wing Aviation Well Done Award.
Major Palamidas has flown high-performance fighter jets for over 2500 hours, and his remarkable airmanship skills were put to the test when he successfully landed a T-38 aircraft after it suffered a bird strike, leading to engine failure and structural damage. His quick thinking, decisive action, and exceptional judgment during the incident saved the crew’s lives and prevented millions of dollars in damage to the United States Air Force.
The ENJJPT program, located at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas, is an elite institution for training combat pilots from NATO and allied nations. As the world’s only multinational manned and managed flying training program, ENJJPT produces combat pilots for both the United States Air Force and the NATO alliance. It is renowned for its rigorous training, cutting-edge technology, and fostering camaraderie among NATO member countries.
Major Palamidas’ recognition underscores the high standards demanded by this prestigious training program. It symbolizes the close ties between Greece and the United States, highlighting the caliber of individuals representing the Hellenic Air Force on the international stage.
Major Palamidas has previously demonstrated exceptional courage and skill in his native Greece while serving as an F-4 Phantom fighter pilot. His actions have cemented his reputation as a fighter pilot of unparalleled ability and valor.
By averting a potential disaster and ensuring the safety of his student and the aircraft, Major Palamidas exemplifies the significance of his contribution not only to the ENJJPT program but to international aviation safety as a whole. His actions have inspired and uplifted not only his peers but also generations of aspiring aviators, leaving an indelible mark on the aviation community and the hearts of all those who value courage and selfless service.
In honoring Major Palamidas, we celebrate the spirit of bravery, dedication, and excellence that he embodies. His actions stand as a shining example of the extraordinary contributions made by individuals in the field of aviation, reminding us all of the profound impact that a single individual can control in ensuring the safety and security of others. The people of Greece and the Hellenic Air Force take immense pride in Major Palamidas’ accomplishments, viewing them as an inspiration to aspiring pilots and a testament to the exceptional training and values instilled by the Hellenic Air Force.