A ceremony paying tribute to Hellenic Air Force Maj. Epaminondas Kosteas was held on Friday morning during the dawn flag-raising ceremony at the national defense ministry in Athens, two days after the aviator lost his life in the crash of a  T-2 Buckeye trainer jet.

A memorial service followed at the cathedral within the compound hosting the ministry and the armed forces’ general staff headquarters.

Kosteas was posthumously raised to the rank of lieutenant-general by order of Defense Minister Nikos Dendias and the chief of the Hellenic national defense general staff, Gen. Konstantinos Floros, for his sacrifice.

A funeral service and interment took place in the air force officer’s ancestral home region of Mani, in extreme southeast Greece, and specifically in the village of Megali Mantinea.

Maj. Kosteas was killed when the training jet he was piloting crashed shortly after take-off a half mile north of the Kalamata civilian/military airport, in the southwest tip of mainland Greece.

Three days of mourning in the armed forces

A three-day period of mourning was declared in the three branches of Greece’s armed forces in honor of Kosteas’ memory.