National Guard takes part in Greek air combat drills

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With tensions rising in Europe, the National Guard participates in Greece’s multinational air exercise Iniochos launched this week, the Ministry of Defence confirmed.

The annual medium-scale exercise (type INVITEX) is based at the Air Tactics Centre of Andravida Air Base, in the Northwest Peloponnese operating inside Athens FIR.  This year the drills last until 7 April.

The Exercise combat scenario adopts a Single Base Concept (execution of operations from a single Air Base), with the participation of all branches of the Armed Forces.

The Cyprus National Guard has been participating in Iniochos since 2017.

Among the countries participating are Israel’s Defence Forces, the UAE Air Force, Italy’s Air Force, Romania, Slovenia, Canada, France.

Apart from Greece, participants will include France with the Charles De Gaulle aircraft carrier, Rafale fighter jets and Airborne Early Warning (AEW) E2C Hawkeye aircraft.

US F-15 fighter jets and MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft will also be present, as will Israel with F-16s, G-550 AEW aircraft, Air-Air Refueling B-707 aircraft, and Italy with Tornados.

According to the Hellenic Air Force, the drill provides advanced and realistic training scenarios for participants to enhance combat readiness and fighting capabilities.

It will simulate various scenarios – including airstrikes, evading air defences, combat search and rescue operations, and protecting aircraft or attacking airborne targets.

Israeli F-16s, G-550 Airborne Early Warning (AEW) and Air-to-Air Refueling B-707 aircraft will be flying alongside pilots from several other countries – including the United States (F-15 fighter jets and MQ-9 Reaper drones), Canada, France (Rafael fighter jets and AEW E2C Hawkeye aircraft) Italy (Tornado fighter jets), Cyprus (AW139 helicopter), and Slovenia (PC-9 training aircraft).

Other countries – including Egypt, Kuwait, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Albania, Austria, North Macedonia, the UK, India, Canada and Croatia – sent observers.

This year’s exercise comes shortly after American, Israeli, French, Cypriot and Greek naval forces completed the Noble Dina naval drill in the Mediterranean Sea southwest of Cyprus earlier this month.