Israel will conduct a large scale aerial refuelling exercise over the Aegean between the 18th and 19th of July. The exercise was agreed between the Greek and Israeli governments. It is the first time that such manoeuvres take place which seem to be aimed at practising Combat Search And Rescue far behind enemy lines. The exercise could also be aimed at transporting Special Forces far into enemy territory to act as target designators. The target, obviously, seems to be Iran.
Greek Forces will have no direct involvement with the exercise. The exercise itself will involve C-130 aircraft configured as tankers and CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters as the transports. The entire exercise is veiled in secrecy on the one hand due to the recent events with the Gaza aid flotilla as well as due to its special nature. The route the aircraft will likely take extends from the Athens – Nicosia FIR boundaries via the northwest of Karpathos and from there northeast Aghion Oros.
According to Defence Ministry sources there is also a preliminary agreement to repeat the recent Minos 2010 exercise between Greece and Israel which was interrupted last May due to the events surrounding the Gaza aid flotilla. This is pending approval from the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs.