report by Mike Danks
On March the 12th until the 23rd, the Hellenic Air Force hosted the medium-sized multinational exercise named Iniohos at the base of 117 Combat Wing in Andravida, home of the Greek Phantoms. In this exercise the HAF along with other six participating Air Forces took advantage of some of the most suitable and at the same time most challenging airspaces in Europe for conducting these large scale air operations, with a wide variety of air defence systems and a remarkable mix of modern aircraft and ordnance combined with considerably experienced crews.
The 2018 INIOHOS edition’s objective is to provide realistic training, the HFWS (Hellenic Fighter Weapons School) supervises the missions from scenario planning to debriefing. HAF along with the other participating Air Forces took advantage of some of the most suitable and at the same time most challenging airspace in Europe for conducting these large scale air operations, a wide variety of air defense systems and remarkable mix of modern aircraft and ordnance combined with considerably experienced crews. The “Iniohos” exercise dates back to the late 80s, when it was established as a small scale air warfare exercise with only aircraft of the HAF. Initially the participating aircraft were deployed to 110 CW in Larisa.During this period; the Hellenic Air Force launched fighters from all Tactical Air Commands and with the other participating Air Arms accumulated a big amount of sorties, day and night. In the exercise’s scenarios strike packages faced all available air defense systems, provided by all branches. The HAF cooperated with aerial assets from the Hellenic Army and the Hellenic Navy. All together they struck various target types, ranging from tanks and frigates to air bases or other high-value assets.
This year’s edition of Iniohos was attended by a wide variety of combat aircraft from 7 nations (including Greece). Among them:
6 Mirage 2000-9EAD/DAD belonging to the 71 Sqn of the UAE AF&AD from Al Dhafra AB.
4 F-16C “Barak 2020” of the 117th Sqn “First Jet” of the Israeli AF from Ramat David AB.
6 Tornado IDS from the 102° and the 154° Gruppi of the 6° Stormo of the Italian Air Force from Ghedi AB.
6 Typhoon FGR4 from 3 Sqn from RAF Coningsby.
13 F-15E Strike Eagle from 492FS of the 48nd FW from RAF Lakenheath!
The Hellenic Air Force’s (HAFs) Air Tactics Centre (Kentro Aeroporikis Taktikis – KEAT) was formed in the 1980s and operates as an independent wing at Andravida airbase. For two weeks in April KEAT were hosts to United States and Israeli military forces for the exercise ‘Iniohos 2018’. Planning for this major exercise started in November 2013 and ‘Iniohos 2014’ was run in the April with just HAF units as a precursor to this multi-national invitational exercise (INVITEX).
KEAT oversees the Tactical Weapons School’s (Scholio Oplon Taktikis – SOT) ten week course which is run at least once a year for its elite pilots. Using experience gained over decades of courses they have consistently updated and improved the training given. Each course culminates in a series of large aircraft strike packages of up to 30 aircraft known as Composite Air Operations (COMAOs).
The HAF utilized more than 30 F-16s belonging to various squadrons, 4 F-4Es, 4 Mirage 2000s and 1 EMB-145H AEW&C, while Cyprus was the last participant with the utilization of a single AW-139 helicopter. Also an E-3A AWACS from the NATO AEW&C was deployed to Aktion AB and was orbiting over the exercise areas contributing in this role. The unique feature of this year’s Iniohos exercise is that during its duration the invited Air Arms cooperated with aerial, surface and sea assets of the Hellenic Army and the Hellenic Navy which at the same time were combining their own exercises “Ormi” and “Astrapi” and utilized many other assets like ships, helicopters, tanks etc. Globalairpower would like to thank all the Hellenic Air Force General Staff, the Fighter Weapons School and 117 Combat Wing for the organization of this Iniohos 2018 media day.