American, Arab, Israeli and Italian airmen just ended their training at Greece

Hellenic Air Force F-16 and F-4, Israeli F-16 and Italian AMX during a ceremonial flight to Athens - (c) HAF

Hellenic and foreign aircrafts have just completed their 11-day training over Greece. The exercise, codenamed “Iniohos”, took place between March 26 and April 6 across the geographical area within the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR).

Hellenic Air Force operates two Squadrons of upgraded F-4E - (c) HAF

This year, in “Iniohos” participated the air forces from Israel, the United States of America, the United Arab Emirates and Italy, while there were observers from the Cyprus National Guard.

US C-17 and F-16C Block 30 - (c) USAFE

This experience gives us the feel for a deployment. 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,” Staff Sgt. Jordan Anthony, 482nd Maintenance Squadron crewchief.

An Israeli F-16C Block 40 Barak and the KC-707 - (c) HAF

As USAF refers, “Iniohos” dates back to the late 1980’s, when it was established by Air Tactics Center (ATC - unofficially known in Greece like the “Greek Top Gun”) as a small scale air warfare exercise with only aircrafts of the Hellenic Air Force (HAF). Each year the exercise became more complex by adding new mission scenarios, but still remained at national level. Everything changed in 2015 when 10 Israeli F-16I jets and US JTACs co-trained with Hellenic forces. In 2016 it was the first time US fighter aicrafts participated, with 12 F-15E of 492nd Fighter Squadron while Israel sent F-16C/D Barak. In 2017, UAE and Italy were the new "Iniohos" rookies.

UAEAF F-16E and Italian AMX - (c) HAF



12 F-16C Block 30 [93FS]
JTACs [4th ASOG]


12 F-16C/D Block 40 Barak [101Sq, 105Sq]
1 KC-707 [120Sq]
1 CAEW [122Sq]


4+2 AMX [132o Gruppo – 51o Stormo]


6 F-16E/F Block 60


Except planes, Greece offered SOF, helicopters, UAVs, SAMs and ships.

Notes: Local reports argue the presence of one E-3A.

Hellenic Air Force Mirage 2000-5 MkII and F-16C Block 50D - (c) HAF

All the international participations operated from 117CW which is situated near Andravida, the historical capital of medieval Principality of Achaea, in Western Peloponnese. At the same AFB Hellenic Air Force operates two out of her three R/F-4E squadrons, both of them equipped with the upgraded variant F-4 AUP. After their modernization by EADS / HAI, the Greek Phantoms carry AIM-120 AMRAAM BVR missiles and Litening II targeting pod. Litening pods were also carried by US and Israeli F-16, whereas the Greek F-16 had the LANTIRN and Arabs were equipped with the SNIPER XP. At least two Italian AMX carried RecceLite pods.

Like last year, Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) Systems played important roles, offering crucial information to the participating forces. 

This exercise gives us the chance to strengthen our bonds with other countries, our allies, with a different type of air superiority,” Capt. Paul Deveaux, 482nd Maintenance Operations Group maintenance operations officer.

Hellenic Navy conducted relevant exercises with Iniohos - (C) HN

Speaking on Greek TV, Italian pilots described “Iniohos” as a unique experience, while the UAE group contained some really experienced personnel that had previously participated “Red Flag”.

General Tod D. Wolters participated as WSO at the exercise! - (c) HAF

On March 29, a Media Day event took place at 117CW, attracting the interest of plane spotters, journalists and officials. That day, Greek MoD awarded pilots that had excellent performance at TLP 2017-1. On April 5, General Tod D. Wolters – the USAFE /USAFE Commander – took part at “Iniohos” as a WSO of a Hellenic 337Sq F-16D Block 52+!

Greek picked paratroopers' HAHO jump during "Iniohos"

Through “Iniohos”, HAF aims to attract international partners for air training and develop a special multinational training area over Peloponnese. Examples of this target can be both found at the recent 3-month presence of Egyptian F-16C/D at 117CW and Italian student pilots training program at T-6A aircrafts of AFB Kalamata.