In a sign of its growing military presence in the Eastern Mediterranean, Greece last week launched the Medusa 9 joint military exercise with Egypt south of Crete and the Peloponnese, while Greek fighter jets prepare to take part in the multinational Blue Flag drill which begins on Sunday in the Uvda region of southern Israel.
Moreover, in a rather rare move, two Greek F-16 fighter jets on Friday escorted a US B-52 bomber from an area over western Greece to Nicosia’ Flight Information Region (FIR) off eastern Cyprus, where they parted ways.
The American aircraft continued on an east-bound course to Syria, while the Greek jets returned to their base at Souda on the island of Crete.
The B-52 had taken off from Royal Air Force Fairford in England, from where B-2 bombers had also been launched in previous days as part of the US Global Thunder exercise.
Meanwhile, the joint exercise between Greece and Egypt, with the participation of Cyprus, will continue until November 8.
It is being attended by observers from 15 countries, including the US, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and others.
Greece is taking part with three frigates, two missile boats, a submarine, a landing ship, an early warning aircraft, eight F-16s, three Chinook helicopters, four Apache attack helicopters and special forces units.
Egypt is participating with a helicopter carrier, a frigate, a missile boat, a submarine, six F-16s and special forces units.