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RAF Coningsby Station Commander Visits Typhoon Squadron Deployed to Greece

Photo: A Typhoon from 3(F) Squadron Royal Air Force departs for air combat training during EX INIOCHOS at Andravida Air Base, Greece. Royal Air Force Typhoon Aircraft from 3 (F) Squadron of RAF Coningsby, have been taking part in EX INIOCHOS at Andravida Air Base, Greece, Working in both an air-to-air and air-to-ground role, the 6 RAF Typhoons have been training alongside aircraft from the USA, United Arab Emirates, Italy, Cyprus, Israel and the host nation, Greece. The exercise, involving over 70 aircraft, has allowed RAF pilots and ground crew to train alongside partner nations and NATO allies in Air Combat Tactics and working practices. During the Exercise, RAF Coningsby Station Commander Group Captain Baulkwill accompanied British Ambassador to Greece, Kate Smith CMG, meeting distinguished guests from participating nations, as well as Royal Air Force personnel involved EX INIOCHOS.

 
MoD press release
 
The Station Commander at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire has visited 3 (Fighter) Squadron that are currently deployed on the large NATO exercise that is being run in Greece.
The exercise that Group Captain Mike Baulkwill is visiting is Ex Iniochos 18 and is a multi-national air warfare exercise that is organised annually by the Hellenic Air Force in Greece.
This year in addition to participation by 3 (F) Sqn, who are normally based at RAF Coningsby, there are contingents from the United States, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, Cyprus and Israel plus the Hellenic Airforce from Greece. Over 70 fast jets of various types have been flying on sorties that have built up to simulated full scale war fighting across Greek airspace.
The Group Captain said: “It is one of the pleasures of my role as Station Commander, to visit personnel from RAF Coningsby when they are deployed on operations and exercises to see how well they are doing their jobs. A bonus for this visit is that I will also have the opportunity to fly a sortie on this exercise.”
The Station Commander is a fully qualified Typhoon pilot and was formally the officer commanding of number 6 Squadron RAF, a front line Typhoon Squadron.
Despite the high intensity of the simulated combat exercises, 3 (F) Sqn have had other visitors, when a distinguished visitors day was organised by the Hellenic Air Force. The principle guests were the Greek Defence Minister, Mr Panos Kammenos, the Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff, Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis and the British Ambassador to Greece Ms Kate Smith CMG.
After first arriving aboard a Hellenic Airforce C130 the distinguished visitors were treated to a fly past by the participating nations on the exercise.
Mr Kammenos thanked the visiting nations for attending the exercise and welcomed their commitment to work with the Greek Armed forces to promote peace in the region.
During the day the Ambassador joined Gp Capt Baulkwill and the officer commanding 3 (F) Sqn, Wing Commander Lewis Cunningham to meet some of the deployed personnel. She was also shown the equipment that pilots fly with, including an explanation by Wing Commander Cunningham of the hi tech flying helmet that all RAF Typhoon pilots are equipped with.
Summing up the exercise, Wing Commander Cunningham said: “This has been the first time that Typhoon has deployed to Greece. This exercise offers us a great opportunity to prepare for future operations and strengthens our existing relationship with the Greek Armed Forces.”
 
Photo credit: © UK Crown copyright 2018
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