3 Greek fire-fighting planes return from Israel

Three Greek fire-fighting planes (CL-415) returned to Greece this week after participating in efforts to extinguish a series of wildfires that erupted in Israel over the past week.

Following a request by the Israeli government, the planes first touched down on Israeli territory in the early morning hours of Thursday, Nov. 24, while a military transport plane also carried another 18 aviators as backup crews and 14 technicians, along with related materiel.

The planes recorded a total of 21 sorties and 63.7 hours of flight time, mostly over the Haifa and Jerusalem districts.

The Greek mission was visited by Israel President Reuven Rivlin as well as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was accompanied by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Israeli Air Force commander Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel.

Greece’s ambassador to Israel, Constantinos Bikas, also visited the crew-members. The group later paid a courtesy visit to Jerusalem Patriarch Theophilos III, who thanked them for their contribution.

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