Exercise «INIOHOS» is an annual medium scale exercise (type INVITEX) based on the facilities of the AIR TACTICS CENTER at the Andravida Air Base, located in the Northwest Peloponnese. The duration of the exercise is 15 calendar days and operations make use of the majority of Athena FIR. The Exercise scenario adopts a Single Base Concept (execution of operations from a single Air Base), with the participation of all branches of the Armed Forces.
The «INIOHOS» 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:
- Air operations versus Integrated Air Defense System (IADS)
- Offensive Counter Air / Airfield Attack
- Air Interdiction / Special Targets (bridges, power stations, vehicles, etc.)
- Anti-Surface Warfare
- Slow Mover Protection (SLOMO)
- Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR)
- Dynamic Targeting (DT) / Strike Coordination and Reconnaissance (SCAR) / Close Air Support (CAS) / Time Sensitive Targets (TST)
- 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.
2014: March 30 - April 11
2015: April 19-30 (with for the first time international participation of Israeli Air Force F-16s and USAFE F-16s)
2016: April 3-14 (with international participation of the Israeli Air Force F-16s and USAFE F-15Es)
2017: March 27 - April 7
2018: March 5-23
2019: April 1-12
Source: Hellenic Air Force.