Exercise Morning Wind 2010
The second part of exercise Minoas 2010 that was conducted last May, took part this week at 117th Fighter Wing of the Hellenic Air Force located in Andravida Air Base. More specifficaly in accordance with the military cooperation agreement between the Greek and Israeli goverments, a CSAR Exercise Operation was conducted within Athens F.I.R. from the 11th to the 14th of October. The planning and execution of the LIVEX was conducted by KEAT, HAFs Air Tactics Training Center under the orders of Tactical AIr Force HQ in Larissa and the HAF General Staff, with the direct support of the 117th Fighter Wing.
The benefits of a CSAR exercise are important not only due to the tactical advantages gained from them, but also due to their morale boosting capabilities and the esprit de corps it brings. CSARs purpose is to bring back to base crewmembers that have ejected behind enemy lines, and to do so with speed and maximum safety, using all available resources.
The purpose of the exercise was:
1) Training the personnel of both countries in planning and conducting operations with the participation of fighter aircraft thus augmenting the operational effectiveness of the aircrews in the tactical level.
2) Improving the standarization of the participating units in planning and conducting CSAR operations.
3) Gaining experience in cooperating with Air Forces using a different philosophy by using different assets.
During the exercise familiarization flights, various CSAR scenarios with or without air combat and simulated airfield attacks were flown.
The participating forces were:
- 3 Saraf Longbow Apaches plus one spare from 113sq “The Hornet Squadron” based in Ramon AB.
- 3 Yanshuf 3s plus one spare, 2 each from 123sq “The Southern Bells Squadron” based at Hatzerim AB and 124Sq “The Rolling Swords Squadron” based at Palmacim AB.
- 1 Super Puma from 384 Puma Squadron based at Elefsina AB
- 2 AH-64A Apaches plus one spare from 1st Attack Helicopter Battalion of the Hellenic Army based at Stefanovikio AB
- 6 fighter aircraft from the current SOT (Fighter Weapons School) class that uses a pool of F-4E AUP, F-16 Block 30, F-16 Block 52+, Mirage 2000-5 and Mirage 2000EGM.
- 1 CROTALE Air Defence Battery
Also several Israeli Air force Transports and 1 Greek UH-1H were used supporting the IAF detachment and the Greek Apaches respectivelly.
The Exercise took part in North, Western and Central Pelloponese peninsula and in the Ionian Sea, during day and night. Composite Helicopter formations were used, for landings along the flight routes, execution of fighter attacks aagainst the Helicopter formations simulating in the most realistic way various combat scenarios, fighter escorts and package protection, airfiled attacks etc.
Special care was given to Flight Safety both in planning and executing the exercise by using alternate routes and airports and by following all ground safety rules, thus improving in experience and tactical thought. The exercise was a success by acomplishing its objectives and improving the relations between the two Air Forces.
The Israeli Brigadier in command of the Israel Air and Space Force/Zroa HaAvir VeHahalal (Heyl Ha’Avir) detachment spoke very warmly about the high level of cooperation and the smooth way in which the exercise was conducted. He stressed the fact that the men and women under his command were able to train in an unknown for them territory and invited the Hellenic Air Force/Elliniki Polemiki Aeroporia to train in Israel in the near future.
[LEFT]A small portion of the Hellenic-Israeli Combined CSAR training exercise, as it was covered by the Greek TV program “Me Areti kai Tolmi”