Long-range Sorties in 'Enemy' Territory: Israel Air Force Drilled With Greece

Drills held strictly over the skies of Greece were completed last week amid improving ties, regional tension

Israel Air Force jets taking part in a joint drill in Greece, June 7, 2018.
IDF Spokesperon's Unit

The Israeli Air Force announced on Monday that it held a joint exercise with the Greek Air Force over the skies of Greece last week.

The exercise, which ended on Thursday, included long-range flights and dozens of planes training in unfamiliar territory, the Israeli military stated. Likewise, they practiced air refueling and learning about one another’s flight crews.

Some 40 Israeli fighter jets from 10 fighter squadrons as well as tanker air craft participated in the exercise, never landing during two sorties. The exercise was part of a series planned for 2018 to improve readiness of Israel’s forces.

“The flyover was successful, based on our advanced capabilities, as well as precise and detailed planning,” said Lt. Col. R., commander of the 105th Squadron.

Military ties between Israel and Greece have improved over the past year. In March, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot was hosted for the first time by his Greek counterpart, while Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman hosted the Greek defense minister in Israel.

Israel has been involved in a flurry of training activity recently. Last week, the Israel Air Force conducted a four-day drill in bases across Israel, but the army launched a surprise drill in the Golan Heights on Sunday, in wake of several strikes in Syria attributed to Israel that have raised tensions with Israel’s northern neighbors.