AP Photo/ Anupam Nath
Israeli Air Force helicopter squadrons, along with gunships from the Greek Air Force, conducted joint exercises in the challenging topography of the Olympic Mountains.
Israel’s flat terrain does not allow for the effective practice of transporting soldiers to combat areas, evacuating civilians or rescuing pilots from unknown territory. The Greek mountains allow IAF CH-53 Sea Stallion and CH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to simulate operations in a more demanding environment.
An IDF source said Sunday that Israel is grateful to have the opportunity to gain valuable experience in a “complex combat arena that is not available in Israel,” the Jerusalem Post reported.
The source added that during the drills Israeli helicopters landed and took off from 2,918-meter Mount Olympus, flying and hiding around the peak in rugged terrain.
REUTERS/ Ronen Zvulun/File Photo
This is not the first time the two countries have conducted joint air force exercises. The IAF completed a similar large-scale drill for combat and transport helicopters in Greece in 2015, involving squadrons from the Hellenic Air Force.
Apache attack helicopters, IAF Hercules and Super-Hercules transport planes, and Tzofit Beechcraft King Air intelligence-gathering aircraft participated in the annual exercise staged by the two militaries.