International Information

International Operation Name: NATO Operation DISTINGUISHED GAMES

International Mission Name: NATO Operation DISTINGUISHED GAMES

Mandating Organization: North Atlantic Council, 25 June 2004

Region Name: Europe

Location: Athens, Greece

Mission Date: 2 August 2004 - 29 September 2004

Mission Mandate: To conduct aerial surveillance over Greece during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Mission/Operation Notes: In March 2004, the Government of Greece requested NATO assistance in providing security during the Olympic and Paralympic Games to be held in Athens from 2 August to 30 September. On 24 June, the North Atlantic Council authorized NATO to provide assistance, including NATO Airborne Early Warning Force (NAEWF) E3A aircraft, and the maritime support under Task Force Endeavour.

The NAEWF contribution was under the name Operation DISTINGUISHED GAMES. The aircraft from the NAEWF wing in Geilenkirchen, Germany would be responsible for surveying the airspace around and over Greece to allow a Recognized Air Picture to be developed, identifying aircraft and scrambling military aircraft to identify unknown aircraft. The E3As reported to the NATO Combined Air Operations Center 7 near Larissa, Greece, where staff would coordinate activities with Greek authorities. 

NAEWF aircraft deployed on 29 July to their forward operating location in Aktion, Greece. Operations began on 2 August and continued through the period of both Games, terminating on 29 September.

Canadian Forces (CF) Information

Name: No Canadian Operation Name

CF Mission/Operation Notes: Canadian Forces participation in Operation Distinguished included the personnel posted to the NAEWF in Geilenkirchen, Germany. The Canadian personnel were integrated into the air and ground crews that supported the operations of the NATO unit.

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