The grand overflight of the formation of eight jet fighters belonging to the Hellenic Air Force and the Air Forces of friendly countries participating in the multinational exercise INIOHOS 2019 that is in progress in Andravida, was an honor for the global cultural heritage that Athens represents.
A Greek Mirage 2000-5, followed by a Phantom F-4, also of the Hellenic Air Force, was also in formation with two Greek F-16s, along with a USAF and an Israeli of the same type, a Tornado of the Italian Air Force and of course the Great Attraction: A Fifth Generation F-35 Lightning II Italian Fighter!
It is worth noting that Italy, brought six sophisticated fighters to the exercise INIOHOS 2019, taking advantage of the opportunity to take part in an exercise designed by one of the world’s leading operational air forces, the Hellenic Air Force. And this is no exaggeration.
Special mention needs to be made to the participation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which was much more difficult than those not paying particular attention to developments in the Gulf region can imagine.
In the current period, the UAE face multiple security problems and – especially because of the situation in Yemen – the UAE Air Force is on constant alert. Nonetheless, the presence of the Emirates Air Force with the very capable Mirage 2000-9 was impressive with six aircraft.
The Hellenic Air Force General Staff can not hide the particular respect it holds for their Emirate colleagues, for which the comments about their continued progress and professionalism are extremely flattering.
Their participation in the exercise is not decorative, nor some diplomatic ploy, but it proves to be decisive by promoting their country in the West, a country that has been making leaps of progress in the social, political, economic and, of course, military fields.
That being said, it is not surprising that their Greek colleagues and the leadership of the ministry treat them as important strategic allies. In addition to their presence in the exercise that is mutually beneficial, no one forgets the practical contribution of the UAE with shipments of spare parts for the Hellenic Navy, which helped it decisively during a very difficult period.
There is a lot one can hold Greece accountable for, but beyond the collective – state level where we often prove to be deficient, on another level, that of military affairs, the country does not forget its benefactors.
Beyond the self-evident level of transnational relations that are dominated by self-interest and intent to serve the national interest, there is also a psychological level where progress in bilateral relations between Greece and the UAE is just impressive and all things point to a deepening and very substantive relationship.