The “Eye of the Hawk” in the Mediterranean…

Preparations are underway at the 115th Fighter Wing in Souda for the arrival of six F-15SA fighter jets from the Royal Saudi Arabian Air Force. The Saudi F-15 fighter jets are expected to land at the Souda airbase on Wednesday, November 9, for the “Falcon Eye III” exercise that will take place with fighter jets of our Air Force in Greek airspace.

By GEORGIA GARANTZIOTI – SOURCE: POLITICAL – [Μετατροπή σε κείμενο:
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The previous day, on Tuesday, November 8, an aircraft of its multiple missions is expected in Souda, as a precursor, which will be used to transport ground personnel of various specialties, material equipment and also additional airmen, while during the Greek-Saudi joint training it will be used in missions as a tanker aircraft refueling aircraft of both countries. This is the third repositioning of Saudi fighter jets, which will last approximately ten days, until November 18, 2022.

During the joint training, it is planned to perform, among other things, missions of complex air operations of the Air Superiority – Supremacy type, as well as protection-attack of targets on land and at sea. The arrival of the Saudi fighters takes place in the context of the bilateral military cooperation between Greece and Saudi Arabia and the coordinated effort of the competent bodies of the GEETHA with the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Saudi Arabia.

The geostrategic role of Crete is being upgraded

The particularly important presence of the Armed Forces of Saudi Arabia in Souda is added to those of the United Arab Emirates, France, the USA and Cyprus, among others, and highlights the important role of Crete in consolidating security and stability in its wider region. Central and Eastern Mediterranean as well as the Middle East.

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Military sources report to “Political” that “Crete is and will continue to be in the immediate future a pole of attraction for the realization of important synergies with even more allies, who wish to declare in practice, with their presence, but also the joint exercises with the Greek Armed Forces, their interest in the particularly important area in terms of strategic value”.

Military diplomacy is at the center

Athens, in the midst of a crisis with Turkey, is forging alliances and strengthening its relations with Arab countries that wish to have a presence in the Eastern Mediterranean. Athens-Riyadh bilateral relations became stronger with the Patriot artillery mission to Saudi Arabia (with the blessings of the US) last year, but also the joint military actions that the two countries have developed in recent years.

Sources from the Ministry of Defense explained to us that “our country exercises a very active military diplomacy having assumed a pivotal role in promoting defense initiatives and creating bilateral and multilateral forms of cooperation. The goal is for Greece to have a high footprint in defense and security in the wider region. Results are produced when we strengthen relations with friendly and allied countries, with whom we share common perceptions and views regarding the issue of security and defense in our region. Saudi Arabia is one of them.”

An important result of the military diplomacy practiced by the Ministry of Defense and the GHET is the participation of Saudi Arabia in the “Medusa 12” exercise. The Greek-Egyptian exercise will take place from 19 to 25 November 2022 in a “sensitive area” between Alexandria and Crete, with the participation of forces from Greece, Cyprus, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which last year had an observer role. Again this year the exercise includes complex and highly coordinated and demanding interdisciplinary operational scenarios, such as combined amphibious operations, air defense and anti-submarine warfare exercises.

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Military sources say that Saudi Arabia’s participation in the exercise – like the participation of the UAE in 2021 – shows the common will of the Arab countries to create together with the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean a shield of protection against revisionism. In fact, Greece and Egypt are considering the possibility of part of the exercises taking place in the area of ​​the illegal Turkish-Libyan memorandum. Greece and Saudi Arabia are discussing further tightening of their defense relations, and A/GETHA, General Konstantinos Floros – according to information – is preparing to travel to Saudi Arabia soon.

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