The multinational air exercise “INIOCHOS 2023” was held from Monday, 24 April 2023 to Thursday, 4 May 2023 at Andravida Air Base, from where the majority of the participating fighter aircraft operated.

“INIOCHOS 2023” saw the participation of 12 countries, a record number since 2015 when “INIOCHOS” was first held as an INVITEX. Specifically, participants were Cyprus with an AW139 helicopter and JTACs, France with Rafales, India with SU-30s, Italy with Tornados, Jordan with F-16s, Saudi Arabia with F-15s, Slovenia with PC-9s and JTACs, Spain with EF-18s, USA with F-16s, MQ-9s and JTACs, Austria with INTELs and Canada with Air Battle Managers.

Hellenic Air Force participated with a large number of assets, like fighter jets, including the recently acquired RAFALEs, Air Defence Systems, helicopters, transport and training aircraft. Additionally, Hellenic Army, Navy and Special Operations assets and personnel contributed significantly to the creation of complex and realistic scenarios across the exercise areas which spread over the Greek mainland and seas.

All types of air missions were executed, day and night, under an intense battle rhythm, covering the spectrum of modern air operations in the context of a series of demanding scenarios.

During “INIOCHOS 2023” a number of missions were accomplished on the F-16 Tactical Simulators of the newly established HAF’s Synthetic Training Squadron (STS), expanding INIOCHOS into the virtual world.

Representatives from Bahrain, Germany, Montenegro, Morocco and Slovakia had the opportunity to observe a number of the exercise activities.


The “INIOCHOS” Exercise was first conducted in the late 1980s, as a small scale tactical level exercise, tailored to the contemporary necessity for training in combined air operations in accordance with the Hellenic Air Force Doctrine. Over the next years, the success of the exercise led to the decision on establishing it as an annual event.

The exercise objective was to train personnel in planning and execution of Combined Air Operations (COMAO) in accordance with the HAF Doctrine and National Plans in a realistic environment, in order to test and evaluate operational plans and tactics.

For the execution and conduction of the Exercise, the Hellenic Fighter Weapons School was deployed to Larissa, so as to form the White Cell in the facilities of the National Center for Air Operations. The White Cell was responsible for the optimal coordination and planning of the operations, while participating Aircrafts were also deployed to Larissa, at 110CW, from where they launched for their missions.

In 2005, the Exercise was decentralized, thus the participating Aircrafts were operating from their mother bases, while the White Cell, the planning and the coordination were taking place in the Air Tactics Center and the Fighter Weapons School facilities, in Andravida Air Force Base, implementing newly acquired means of Command and Control.

In November 2013, the decision was made to adopt a Single Base Concept, upgrading the exercise scale to medium and expanding the spectrum of operations with the objective to create a more realistic and Demanding environment, with an intensive and prolonged 24/7 battle rhythm, significantly increasing the level of training.

In April 2015, the exercise is being held for the first time in the form of INVITEX (Invitation Exercise), with the participation of the IAF and the USAFE Special Forces (SOF) as JTAC.

Exercise Main Objectives

  • Provide REALISTIC training, which is achieved by creating a realistic Battle Environment.

Participating personnel are exposed to an intensive battle rhythm with realistic attrition rates and challenging scenarios which include multiple modern threats and real time live injects, tailored to produce the fog of war and the friction effect (per Clausewitz), which is expected to dominate the modern battlefield and test both the physical and psychological endurance of the modern fighter.

  • Accurate Shot/Event Assessment

This is achieved with the use of onboard and off board tracking data, sensors and specialized debriefing software, which is leveraged for the reconstruction of the mission by experienced Fighter Weapons School instructors, who oversee the debriefing process.


Exercise is divided into four phases:

  • Phase 1: Preparation
  • Phase 2: Force Transfer
  • Phase 3: Operation
  • Phase 4: Folding

Command & Control

Tactical Command of the participating air forces is assumed by the Chief of HTAF and it is exercised through a cell established at the ATC specifically for the exercise.

Tactical Control is being delegated to the ATC Commander.


In order to achieve the objectives of the Exercise, the HFWS oversees the missions from scenario planning to debriefing and makes certain that they cover the full spectrum of missions currently performed by the HAF such as:

  1. Air operations versus Integrated Air Defense System (IADS)
  2. Offensive Counter Air / Airfield Attack
  3. Air Interdiction / Special Targets (bridges, power stations, vehicles, etc.)
  4. Anti-Surface Warfare
  5. Slow Mover Protection (SLOMO)
  6. Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR)
  7. Dynamic Targeting (DT) / Strike Coordination and Reconnaissance (SCAR) / Close Air Support (CAS) / Time Sensitive Targets (TST)
  8. High Value Airborne Asset (HVAA) Protect/Attack


Since the first INVITEX in 2015, INIOCHOS exercise has attracted participation from USAFE, Israel Defense Forces, the United Arab Emirates Air Force, and the Italian Air Force and with increasing interest for participation by other countries.

Given the high level of the HAF personnel and our capability to conduct exercises, involving a variety of weapon systems within one of the largest exercise areas in Europe, the exercise «INIOCHOS» aspires to become the most competitive exercise in Europe and the Mediterranean region, and provide Participants with a high level of training and unique experience of participation.

Participation 2023

Hellenic Air Force (HAF)

Rafale BG                            332 MPK
Rafale EG                            332 MPK
F-16C-52+                           335 Mira
F-16C-52+                           337 Mira
F-16D-52+                           337 Mira
F-16C-52+                           340 Mira
F-16D-52+                           340 Mira
F-16C-50                             341 Mira
F-16C-50                             347 Mira

Cyprus Air Force

AW139                                 460 sqn

Armée de l’Air et de l’Espace (AAE, French Air and Space Force)

Rafale C                               EC02.030
Rafale C                               EC03.030

Indian Air Force (IAF)

Su-30MKI-3                        222SQN

Aeronautica Militare (ItAF, Italian Air Force)

Tornado IDS                       6St/102-154Gr
Tornado ECR                      6St/155Gr

Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF)

F-16AM                                unit unknown                  
F-16BM                                unit unknown

Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF)

F-15SA                 92 sqn

Slovenian Air Force

PC-9M                  152 LEESK

Ejército del Aire (EdA, Spanish Air Force)

F/A-18A                               462 Esc

Elsewhere, Hellenic Air Force (HAF)

F-4E                                       338 MDV