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Sabers participate in INIOHOS 19

The goal of the exercise is to enhance professional relationships and improve overall coordination with allies and partner militaries during times of crisis

A Hellenic air force F-16 performs a flyover during exercise INIOHOS 19 at Andravida Air Base, Greece, April 3, 2019. The goal of the exercise is to enhance professional relationships and improve overall coordination with allies and partner militaries during times of crisis. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Branden Rae)

The multinational nature of INIOHOS 19 allows the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron to extend joint warfighting capability through operational training. with the Hellenic air force

F-16 Fighting Falcons fly in formation during exercise INIOCHOS 19, at Andravida Air Base, Greece, April 3, 2019. The multinational nature of INIOHOS 19 allows the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron to extend joint warfighting capability through operational training. with the Hellenic air force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Branden Rae)

The 480th EFS is participating in INIOHOS 19, a Hellenic air force-led multinational flying exercise between Greece, the U.S. and partner nations including the NATO AWACS, Italy, and Israel

U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron takes-off during a Flying Training Deployment, INIOHOS 19, at Andravida Air Base, Greece, April 3, 2019. The 480th EFS is participating in INIOHOS 19, a Hellenic air force-led multinational flying exercise between Greece, the U.S. and partner nations including the NATO AWACS, Italy, and Israel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Branden Rae)

The 480th EFS participation helps to enhance interoperability and maintain joint readiness with the participating allies and partner nations

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron takes off during exercise INIOHOS 19 at Andravida Air Base, Greece, April 3, 2019. The 480th EFS participation helps to enhance interoperability and maintain joint readiness with the participating allies and partner nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Branden Rae)

The goal of the exercise is to enhance professional relationships and improve overall coordination with allies and partner militaries during times of crisis

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron taxis down the flight line during INIOHOS 19, a Hellenic air force-led multinational exercise at Andravida Air Base, Greece, April 3, 2019. The goal of the exercise is to enhance professional relationships and improve overall coordination with allies and partner militaries during times of crisis. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Branden Rae)

The multinational nature of INIOHOS 19 allows both U.S. Air Force and the Hellenic air force to extend joint warfighting capability through operational training

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron takes-off at Andravida Air Base, Greece, April 2, 2019. The multinational nature of INIOHOS 19 allows both U.S. Air Force and the Hellenic air force to extend joint warfighting capability through operational training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Branden Rae)

The 480th EFS is participating in INIOHOS 19, a Hellenic air force-led multinational flying exercise between Greece, the U.S. and partner nations including the NATO AWACS, Italy, and Israel

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron takes off at Andravida Air Base, Greece, April 2, 2019. The 480th EFS is participating in INIOHOS 19, a Hellenic air force-led multinational flying exercise between Greece, the U.S. and partner nations including the NATO AWACS, Italy, and Israel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Branden Rae)

The goal of the exercise is to enhance professional relationships and improve overall coordination with allies and partner militaries during times of crisis

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron taxis to the runway at Andravida Air Base, Greece, during exercise INIOHOS 19, April 2, 2019. The goal of the exercise is to enhance professional relationships and improve overall coordination with allies and partner militaries during times of crisis. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Branden Rae)

The exercise provides a chance for Airmen and aircraft of the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron to work alongside allied air forces and better cooperate to accomplish their mission

A Greek air force F-16 takes off during exercise INIOHOS 19 at Andravida Air Base, Greece, April 2, 2019.The exercise provides a chance for Airmen and aircraft of the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron to work alongside allied air forces and better cooperate to accomplish their mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Branden Rae)

The 480th EFS is participating in INIOHOS 19, which is an annual multinational training exercise held by the Hellenic air force to test multiple nations abilities to integrate and work together to respond to a variety of scenarios in a timely manner
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U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron taxi down the flight line during a Flying Training Deployment at Andravida Air Base, Greece, April 1, 2019. The 480th EFS is participating in INIOHOS 19, which is an annual multinational training exercise held by the Hellenic air force to test multiple nations abilities to integrate and work together to respond to a variety of scenarios in a timely manner. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Branden Rae)

Participation in INIOHOS 19 helps U.S. Air Force pilots to develop and improve air readiness and interoperability with allied and partner air forces
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U.S. Air Force crew chiefs marshal aircraft prior to takeoff, at Andravida Air Base, Greece, April 1, 2019. Participation in INIOHOS 19 helps U.S. Air Force pilots to develop and improve air readiness and interoperability with allied and partner air forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Branden Rae)

The 480th EFS is participating in INIOHOS 19, a Hellenic air force-led multinational flying exercise between Greece, U.S. and partner nations including the NATO AWACS, Italy, and Israel
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U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Juan Rojas, a 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron avionics specialist, checks the instruments of an F-16 Fighting Falcon, at Andravida Air Base, Greece, April 1, 2019. The 480th EFS is participating in INIOHOS 19, a Hellenic air force-led multinational flying exercise between Greece, U.S. and partner nations including the NATO AWACS, Italy, and Israel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Branden Rae)

INIOHOS 19 is a Hellenic air force-led multinational flying exercise between Greece, the U.S. and partner nations including the NATO AWACS, Italy, and Israel
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U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron perform a foreign object debris walk with other participating countries during exercise INIOHOS 19 at Andravida Air Base, Greece, April 1, 2019. INIOHOS 19 is a Hellenic air force-led multinational flying exercise between Greece, the U.S. and partner nations including the NATO AWACS, Italy, and Israel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Branden Rae)

The multinational nature of INIOHOS 19 allows Airmen of the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron the chance to operate alongside allies from across the world and improve their joint warfighting capabilities
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U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Zachery Wilson, 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron dedicated crew chief, reviews notes on an F-16 Fighting Falcon at Andravida Air Base, Greece, April 1, 2019. The multinational nature of INIOHOS 19 allows Airmen of the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron the chance to operate alongside allies from across the world and improve their joint warfighting capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Branden Rae)

The multinational nature of INIOHOS 19 allows the 480th EFS and the Hellenic air force to extend joint warfighting capability through operational training
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U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Juan Rojas, 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron avionics specialist, records notes for an F-16 Fighting Falcon at Andravida Air Base, Greece, April 1, 2019. The multinational nature of INIOHOS 19 allows the 480th EFS and the Hellenic air force to extend joint warfighting capability through operational training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Branden Rae)

The exercise provides a chance for Airmen of the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron to work alongside allied air forces and better cooperate to accomplish their mission
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U.S. Air Force Capt. Wesley Reid, 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron pilot, shakes hands with Senior Airman John Daigle, 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron dedicated crew chief, at Andravida Air Base, Greece, before a mission during exercise INIOHOS 19, April 1, 2019. The exercise provides a chance for Airmen of the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron to work alongside allied air forces and better cooperate to accomplish their mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Branden Rae)

The 480th EFS is participating in INIOHOS 19, an annual multinational exercise which enhances the interoperability and skills of allied and partner air forces in the accomplishment of joint operations and air defenses in order to maintain joint readiness and reassure regional allies and partners
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U.S. Air Force Capt. Wesley Reid, a 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron pilot, prepares for a mission at Andravida Air Base, Greece, April 1, 2019. The 480th EFS is participating in INIOHOS 19, an annual multinational exercise which enhances the interoperability and skills of allied and partner air forces in the accomplishment of joint operations and air defenses in order to maintain joint readiness and reassure regional allies and partners. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Branden Rae)

The goal of the exercise is to enhance professional relationships and improve overall coordination with allies and partner militaries during times of crisis
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U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Colin Prutch, a 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron dedicated crew chief, performs maintenance on an F-16 Fighting Falcon during exercise INIOHOS 19 at Andravida Air Base, Greece, April 1, 2019. The goal of the exercise is to enhance professional relationships and improve overall coordination with allies and partner militaries during times of crisis. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Branden Rae)

ANDRAVIDA AIR BASE, Greece --

Airmen, aircraft and support equipment from the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron began flight operations in Greece for INIOHOS 19 on April 1, 2019. They joined air forces from Greece, Italy, Israel and NATO AWACS taking part in the Hellenic air force-led multinational flying exercise.

This annual exercise, conducted over the Mediterranean, Ionian, and Aegean seas and Greece, is designed to enhance the interoperability, capabilities and skills amongst allied and partner air forces in the accomplishment of joint operations and air defenses to maintain joint readiness and reassure regional allies and partners.

“This training is important because it allows us to operate with our partner nations and build the capabilities for future participation in other exercises or any other type of operations,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Addison Harding, 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron detachment commander. “We get to learn from each other and share knowledge that we don’t normally get at home station training.”

Participation in multinational exercises builds professional relationships and improves overall coordination with allies and partner militaries during times of crisis.

“They (allies and partner nations) come to an excellent environment for training with large air space and excellent weather,” said Hellenic air force Lt. Colonel Athanasios Gkioles, Hellenic Fighter Weapons School director of operations. “But more than that they get to see how we operate in a very strenuous environment. The participants get to find ways to corporate with each other under pressure.”

Forward locations enable collective defense capabilities and provide the U.S. and NATO the strategic and operational breadth needed to deter threats and assure allies and partners.

“There is no substitute for being able to be down here and be forward deployed and get the advance experience with other nations while we are in Greece,” said Harding. “The exercise has been valuable based on the integration between countries we normally don’t operate with. Additionally, our pilots and maintainers have had many opportunities to lead and gain experience in a unique location.”

As the exercise comes to a close, many friendships and partnerships have developed and strengthened.

“The Greeks have been very gracious hosts and have been more than accommodating for any requests that we have made,” said Harding. “They have been proactive in providing support to us, which has been very helpful.”