The International Joint Medium Scale Air Force Exercise, titled «Iniohos 2017», which consists of complex air operations accross the geographical area within the Athens FIR,kicked off on Monday, March 27th. The exercise will go on until Thursday, April 6th, 2017.
Amongst those participating in the exercises, are the air forces from Israel, the United States, the United Arab Emirates and Italy, while observers from the National Guard General Staff will also be present.
U.S. Air Force Airmen and twelve F-16C Fighting Falcons from the 482nd Fighter Wing, Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida, will be participating in the exercise. “This exercise gives us the chance to strengthen our bonds with other [NATO] countries [like Italy, Israel, Greece], our allies, with a different type of air superiority,” said Capt. Paul Deveaux, 482nd Maintenance Operations Group maintenance operations officer.
This year marks the third consecutive year the exercise has been held. Last year twelve F-15E Strike Eagles from the 48th Fighter Wing, RAF Lakenheath participated.
An exercise of this magnitude allows Air Force Reservists the ability to quickly deploy and redeploy.
“This experience gives us the feel for a deployment,” said Staff Sgt. Jordan Anthony, 482nd Maintenance Squadron crewchief. “It gives us a chance to improve flexibility with things we may or may not have and the opportunity to work in an environment we’re not used to.”
This multinational exercise enhances the interoperability capabilities and skills amongst allied air forces in the accomplishment of joint operations and air defenses to maintain joint readiness and reassure our regional allies.
“We can deploy to a mission like this, almost like a bare base, and execute effective missions day-in and day-out,” said Deveaux. “After it is all done we can redeploy home with the same effectiveness it took to get us here.”
The exercise “Iniohos” dates back to the late 1980’s, when it was established as a small scale air warfare exercise with only aircraft of the Hellenic Air Force.