Greece is now hosting a multinational military exercise with the participation of armed forces elements from Greece, the U.S., Canada, Cyprus, Israel, Slovenia, Spain and the United Arab Emirates.
The exercise, dubbed “Iniochos,” which started on April 12 and ends on April 22, is taking place throughout the FIR Athens range — from Corfu to Kastellorizo and from Thrace to Crete — with the participation of all of the branches of the Armed Forces.
The command center is based at Andravida Air Base, in the western Peloponnese, which was visited on Tuesday by Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
Mitsotakis was accompanied by the leadership of the Greek Armed Forces and diplomats from the participating countries, including US Ambassador to Athens Geoffrey Pyatt.
The chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff (GEETHA), General Konstantinos Floros, highlighted the fragile security environment in the broader region and pointed out that “the challenges are constantly increasing.”
He added “To meet the challenges, cooperation with countries that share common values and mutual respect is required.”
Participants in the Iniochos military exercise
The Hellenic Air Force is participating in the exercise with all the types of fighter aircraft (F-16s, Mirage 2000s, Mirage 2000-5s, F-4s) at its disposal as well as with air defense, electronic warfare and unmanned aircraft elements.
The Hellenic Navy is involved with frigates, high-speed guided patrol missiles, gunboats, general support ships, helicopters and naval aircraft.
The Army is participating with the use of its K / B Hawk units, motorized Infantry and Armored units, AH-64 attack helicopters and CH-47D transport helicopters.
Also participating in the exercise are France, with its Rafale and Mirage 2000 fighter jets; the US with F-16s, MQ-9s, andKC-135s; Israel with F-15s and F-16s; the United Arab Emirates with F-16s; Canada with Air Weapon Managers – GCI; Spain with F / A – 18 Hornets and Cyprus with AW 139 helicopters.
The nations of Austria, Egypt, Jordan, Romania and Slovenia have observer status to the gigantic military exercise.
“Iniochos,” which was first conducted in the late 1980s as a small scale tactical level exercise, has become an annual event in the Hellenic Armed Forces training schedule.
It offers an opportunity to plan and execute combined air operations with Greece’s allies.
Multinational naval exercise in March
In March, the nations of Greece, Israel, Cyprus and France took part in their annual joint military exercises, involving both naval vessels and helicopters, called “Noble Dina.”
The Navies of the four powers practiced anti-submarine warfare and search and rescue operations together in an effort to maintain and strengthen control in the eastern Mediterranean.
The Israeli Navy participated in the Noble Dina war games by sending its Sa’ar 4.5-class missile frigates which have anti-submarine systems. Israel’s “Dolphin 2”-class submarines also took part in the maneuvers.
The Greek Navy spokesman said that the exercises in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Cretan Sea were part of strengthening the existing collaboration between the navies of the four nations, addressing the current “challenges and threats” in the eastern Mediterranean.