Exercise Iniohos 17 kicks off in Greece

ANDRAVIDA AIR BASE, Greece --

U.S. Air Force Airmen and 12 F-16C Fighting Falcons from the 482nd Fighter Wing, Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida, began Exercise Iniohos 17, here, which will last until April 6.

Iniohos 17 is a Hellenic Air Force-led, large force, flying exercise between NATO Allies and partner nations.

“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.