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48th Maintenance Group preps for INIOHOS 18

Airmen assigned to the 492nd Aircraft Maintenance Unit perform post-flight checks on an F-15E Strike Eagle at Andravida Air Base, Greece, March 7. The F-15s are scheduled to participate in INIOHOS 18, a Hellenic Air Force-led, large force flying exercise that is slated to involve seven countries and over 50 aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Eli Chevalier)

Airmen assigned to the 492nd Aircraft Maintenance Unit perform post-flight checks on an F-15E Strike Eagle at Andravida Air Base, Greece, March 7. The F-15s are scheduled to participate in INIOHOS 18, a Hellenic Air Force-led, large force flying exercise that is slated to involve seven countries and over 50 aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Eli Chevalier)

An Airman assigned to the 492nd Aircraft Maintenance Unit marshals an F-15E Strike Eagle, assigned to the 492nd Fighter Squadron from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, at Andravida Air Base, Greece, March 7. The 492nd FS is scheduled to participate in INIOHOS 18, a Hellenic Air Force-led, large-force flying exercise that is slated to involve seven countries and over 50 aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Eli Chevalier)

An Airman assigned to the 492nd Aircraft Maintenance Unit marshals an F-15E Strike Eagle, assigned to the 492nd Fighter Squadron from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, at Andravida Air Base, Greece, March 7. The 492nd FS is scheduled to participate in INIOHOS 18, a Hellenic Air Force-led, large-force flying exercise that is slated to involve seven countries and over 50 aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Eli Chevalier)

An Airman assigned to the 492nd Aircraft Maintenance Unit preps equipment at Andravida Air Base, Greece, March 6. Airmen from the 48th Maintenance Group arrived at Andravida AB to prepare for the arrival of Royal Air Force Lakenheath F-15E Strike Eagles for exercise INIOHOS 18. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Eli Chevalier)

An Airman assigned to the 492nd Aircraft Maintenance Unit preps equipment at Andravida Air Base, Greece, March 6. Airmen from the 48th Maintenance Group arrived at Andravida AB to prepare for the arrival of Royal Air Force Lakenheath F-15E Strike Eagles for exercise INIOHOS 18. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Eli Chevalier)

An Airman assigned to the 492nd Aircraft Maintenance Unit performs post-flight checks on an F-15E Strike Eagle at Andravida Air Base, Greece, March 7. The F-15s are scheduled to participate in INIOHOS 18, a Hellenic Air Force-led multinational exercise that enhances interoperability, capabilities and skills between allied and partner air forces. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Eli Chevalier)

An Airman assigned to the 492nd Aircraft Maintenance Unit performs post-flight checks on an F-15E Strike Eagle at Andravida Air Base, Greece, March 7. The F-15s are scheduled to participate in INIOHOS 18, a Hellenic Air Force-led multinational exercise that enhances interoperability, capabilities and skills between allied and partner air forces. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Eli Chevalier)

F-15E Strike Eagles, assigned to the 492nd Fighter Squadron from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, are staged on the ramp after arriving at Andravida Air Base, Greece, March 7. The 492nd FS is scheduled to participate in INIOHOS 18, a Hellenic Air Force-led, large-force flying exercise that is slated to involve seven countries and over 50 aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Eli Chevalier)

F-15E Strike Eagles, assigned to the 492nd Fighter Squadron from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, are staged on the ramp after arriving at Andravida Air Base, Greece, March 7. The 492nd FS is scheduled to participate in INIOHOS 18, a Hellenic Air Force-led, large-force flying exercise that is slated to involve seven countries and over 50 aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Eli Chevalier)

ANDRAVIDA AIR BASE, Greece -- Over the course of a single day, an empty apron at Andravida AB became a prepped staging area for 14 F-15E Strike Eagles assigned to the 492nd Fighter Squadron at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England.

To ensure the U.S. Air Force was fully prepared to participate in INIOHOS 18, a Hellenic Air Force-led, large-force flying exercise that will involve seven countries and over 50 aircraft, Airmen from the 48th Maintenance Group arrived here in advance to make sure the base was ready to securely receive the F-15Es.

"The setup before the jets arrive is extremely important," said a master sergeant assigned to the 492nd Aircraft Maintenance Unit. "There is a lot that goes into ensuring the aircraft arrive and are bedded down safely and efficiently, so they are ready to execute the mission demands of the exercise."

Part of that setup was consolidating all the different units from around the maintenance group onto a single apron, and coordinating the shipment of the necessary tools and equipment.

"The initial bed down is vital," said a weapons systems officer assigned to the 492nd FS. "It provides a smooth transition into the missions. If it isn't set up, we can't fly and we lose out on the invaluable training that this exercise provides."

The 492nd FS last participated in this annual exercise in 2016. INIOHOS 18 is scheduled to take place March 12-23.