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Israeli and Greek air forces hold dogfighting and refueling drill over Israel

Military says exercise ‘symbolizes important milestone’ in Israel-Greece relations; last month Hellenic Armed Forces chief visited Israel in his first official trip

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Hellenic Air Force F-16 jets are seen flying in formation over the Dead Sea in southern Israel, July 12, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
Hellenic Air Force F-16 jets are seen flying in formation over the Dead Sea in southern Israel, July 12, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israeli and Greek military aircraft held a joint aerial exercise over Israel’s skies on Tuesday, simulating refueling and mid-air dogfights, the Israel Defense Forces said Wednesday morning.

During the drill, Israeli planes refueled Hellenic Air Force fighter jets, the IDF said.

The forces conducted “advanced air-to-air combat” and drilled other scenarios, according to the IDF.

In images published by the IDF, Hellenic Air Force F-16 jets were seen flying in formation over the Dead Sea in southern Israel.

The IDF said the exercise “constitutes a platform for shared learning and enhancing the relationship between the two air forces, and symbolizes an important milestone in reinforcing strategic and international cooperation between the State of Israel and Greece.”

“The exercise also contributes in advancing the militaries’ different combat capabilities and their competency in possible combat scenarios, and enables a challenge for the aircrews and technical teams,” the IDF added.

Last month, the chief of the Greek military, General Konstantinos Floros, concluded his first official visit to Israel.

Chief of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff General Konstantinos Floros (right) is greeted by IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi (left) at the Israeli army’s headquarters in Tel Aviv, June 8, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

Floros held meetings with his Israeli counterpart Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi, along with Maj. Gen. Tal Kelman, the military official in charge of Iran affairs, a senior intelligence officer, and other officials.

“The meetings discussed a number of topics, including shared challenges in the Mediterranean region,” the IDF said at the time.

“The bilateral cooperation between the two militaries, with an emphasis on intelligence-related cooperation and joint training opportunities,” was also discussed, a statement added.

Floros was given a tour of various IDF bases, including the Intelligence Directorate’s Unit 9900, Navy’s Shayetet 13, Air Force’s Palmachim airbase, and an Iron Dome air defense battery.

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