Israeli Air Force conducted aerial exercises over Greece this week, working on its long-range capabilities. The exercise included mid-air refueling, F-15Is, F-16Is and Boeing 707 trained with the Greek F-16s. The training focused on exercising and strengthening its range of capabilities through long-range flights as well as other exercises.
The exercises poses special challenges in planning and executing flights with different weather and unfamiliar ground for the Israeli Air Force. IDF stated that the latest exercise was “no different to exercises carried out in recent years.”
Once-warm ties reached a low point after Israeli commandos raided a Gaza-bound Turkish aid flotilla in the Mediterranean in May 2010, killing nine Turks on board. For several years, Israel and the United States carried out military exercises with Turkey, but in September 2011 Ankara expelled Israel’s ambassador and suspended military cooperation with the Jewish state. From then on military cooperation with Greece has been increasing.
This exercise will help Israel prepare for focused missions or broad operations. Israel believes that until Iran halts covert nuclear arms program, all options remain on the table, including a military strike.