«INIOHOS» exercise was first created in the 80’s and was gradually upgraded and established as an annual Hellenic Air Force Small scale Air Warfare exercise. Recently the scope of the exercise has been extensively increased and does also include ground and naval forces. The 2018 edition saw an impressive number of 76 fighter aircraft deployed to Andravida airbase. During 9 operational days more than 1000 operational sorties were flown during day and night!
Where? Andravida, Greece
Iniochos 2018 exercise
“Act with Awareness” was the slogan of the Iniochos 2018 exercise. This an annual exercise of the Hellenic Air Force based at the Andravida Air Base, in the northwest Peloponnese. This airfield is also the home of the HAFs last remaining F-4E Phantom II, which were also flying during the Iniochos exercise.
Iniochos can be translated as a “Charioteer driving a carriage”, with the chariot not only being a symbol for ancient Greek warfare, but also leaving room for interpretation of many forces being united and pulling for the same goal. For the 2018 Iniochos exercise these forces were from Greece, the United States of America, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Italy, Israel and Cyprus.
Foreign Fighter Jets at Andravida
2018 was the 5th edition of the exercise in that scale and saw ground and air crews from seven nations coming to Andravida. The main part of the more than 80 aircraft gathering at Andravida was an abundance of HAF F-16 Fighting Falcons of eight different Squadrons, the locally based F-4E Phantoms IIs, Dassault Mirage 2000 and the Embraer EMB-145H AEW&C aircraft. Foreign participation in this year consisted of USAF F-15E Strike Eagles of the 48th Fighter Wing, RAF Lakenheath, Eurofighter Typhoons FGR4 from the UK, UAEAF Mirage 2000-9s, Tornados from the Italian AF and a AW-139 helicopter during the first week of the exercise from Cyprus.
Israeli Air Force Participation
Less widely published as in recent years in the beginning of the exercise was the presence of Israeli F-16C Fighting Falcons from Ramat David. They flew partly separated from the big Iniochos mission packages, but the Israeli participation saw official recognition from the Hellenic Republic’s Defence Minister Panos Kammenos as a strong sign of the axis of stability that Greece is setting up in that part of the Mediterranean Sea.
Iniohos 2018 Objectives
In order to achieve the objectives of the Exercise „Iniohos 2018“, the HFWS (Hellenic Fighter Weapons School) oversees the missions from scenario planning to debriefing and makes certain that they cover the full spectrum of missions currently performed by the HAF such as:
- Air operations versus Integrated Air Defense System (IADS)
- Offensive Counter Air / Airfield Attack
- Air Interdiction / Special Targets (bridges, power stations, vehicles, etc.).
- Anti Surface Warfare – Slow Mover Protection (SLOMO)
- Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR)
- Dynamic Targeting (DT) / Strike Coordination and Reconnaissance (SCAR) / Close Air Support (CAS) / Time Sensitive Targets (TST)
- High Value Airborne Asset (HVAA) Protect/Attack
For two weeks these Air Forces gathered at Andravida Air Base, which is already home of the facilities of the HAF “Air Tactics Center”. Located on the Peloponnese close to the coast of the Ionian Sea, Andravida Air Base provides the capability to conduct exercises involving a variety of weapon systems within one of the largest exercise areas in Europe, over land and over the sea.
The exercise “Iniochos” aspires to become the most competitive exercise in Europe and the Mediterranean region, and provide participants with a high level of training and unique experience of participation. With the experience gained from preceding exercises it is the HAF’s aim to set up an Air Force Training Centre in the Peloponnese, which should attract many other Air Forces in the future.
INIOCHOS 2018 Exercise Photo Gallery
Disclaimer: Text compiled based on the HAF Press Release