IAF helicopters in Greece. (IAF) (IAF)
IAF Greece

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Greece’s air force will train again with the IAF, the latest stage in the regional forging of ties. 

Greece’s defense minister announced that plans are being drawn up for joint air force drills with Cyprus, Israel, Egypt and other European countries as part of efforts to bolster stability in the eastern Mediterranean.

Panos Kammenos’ remarks Sunday came after a military parade in the Cypriot capital to commemorate the 57th anniversary of the ethnically divided island’s independence.

The parade included the overflight of a pair of Greek Air Force F-16 jets, the first showing of the Greek warplanes at the event in 16 years.

The island’s Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said there will be no let-up in efforts to reunify Cyprus, despite July’s collapse of peace talks with breakaway Turkish Cypriots.

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) periodically holds large-scale aerial joint training exercises with the Hellenic Air Force.

In November, the IAF will host over 100 aircraft and hundreds of support crew in a two-week long Blue Flag drill, the largest such exercise in its history.

“Everybody wants to engage and cooperate with the IAF. It’s a privilege,” Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, the IAF’s chief of international affairs, stated in March about the pending massive drill.

By: AP and United with Israel Staff