Two Greek F-16 jets flew over Larnaca’s Kalo Chorio firing range on Thursday morning, while a training exercise of the Cypriot National Guard was in progress.

According to Cyprus News Agency, this is the final phase of a training exercise dubbed “Steel Arrow,” where armoured passenger transport vehicles were put to the test.

MILAN and HOT anti-tank guided missiles were also being fired, according to CNA, while two infantry brigades using mortars and a battery using heavy artillery pounded targets.

Defence Ministry sources told CNA that the exercise involved training aimed at better command and administration of special operations over land and water.

Two Greek F-16 fighter jets were accompanied by two Gazelle helicopters from the Cypriot National Guard.

“We want Greek fighter aircraft in exercises, not in parades,” Greek Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos said in a tweet on his official account. 

Earlier this month, the Cypriot defence ministry was criticized in the media over the lack of flyovers by Greek fighter jets during Nicosia’s Independence Day parade on October 1.

According to Kathimerini Cyprus, the decision to use fighter jets during this week’s Steel Arrow was taken prior to the parade. 

The last time Greek military jets took part in a Cypriot exercise was in 2000, where the fighters made an appearance at the end of Nikiforos drill.

[Kathimerini Cyprus]

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