Bloody Hundredth refuels Iniochos 21

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Mackenzie Mendez
  • 100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

The 100th Air Refueling Wing participated in exercise Iniochos 21 with the Hellenic air force near Souda Bay Air Base, Greece, April 12-22.

Airmen and KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft assigned to the 351st Air Refueling Squadron, at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, arrived in Greece to support the operational and tactical-level field training exercise, hosted by the Hellenic Air Tactics Center at Greece’s fighter weapons school.

The exercise aimed to enhance combat readiness and fighting capability, while providing participants the opportunity to develop capabilities and conduct complex air operations in a multinational, joint force environment.

“Throughout Iniochos 21, the 100th ARW played a key role in extending fighting periods through air refueling, integrating into high value air asset defense planning, and furthering best air refueling practices amongst partner nations,” said Capt. Brian Brookover, 100th ARW Iniochos 21 director of operations. “Our aircrews were able to further train within contested operational airspace and integrate planning with U.S. and partner assets.”

Iniochos is an annual exercise designed to provide advanced and realistic aircrew training to strengthen interoperability of allied and partner air forces during joint operations and air defenses in order to maintain joint readiness. The exercise aims to enhance combat readiness, fighting capability and the enhancement of the procedural and system interoperability of the participating forces.

Along with Greek and U.S. participants, Canada, Cyprus, Israel, Slovenia, Spain and the United Arab Emirates supported the training event. Participation in multinational exercises, like Iniochos 21, enhances professional relationships and improves overall coordination with allies and partner militaries during times of crisis.

“The exercise allowed us to integrate in both the operational and tactical level with our partners,” said 1st Lt. Wesleigh Bartels, 100th ARW Iniochos 21 assistant director of operations. “It allowed the Hellenic air forces to showcase their hosting and planning capabilities, as well as the give and take of tactical mantras. When standard tactical operations of this many nations is given the platform of free flow communication on best practices, all participants are challenged and benefit.”

Training with our joint and combined allies and partners during Agile Combat Employment events increases our lethality and enhances interoperability, allowing our forces to counter military aggression and coercion by sharing responsibilities for common defense.

Additional U.S. forces that participated included MQ-9 Reaper aircraft assigned to the 731st Expeditionary Attack Squadron, flying out of Campia Turzii, Romania, and Joint Terminal Attack Controllers assigned to the 2nd Air Support Operations Squadron, Vilseck, Germany.

The 100th ARW refueled more than 67 aircraft and offloaded more than 137,000 pounds of fuel during the exercise.