Greek Defense Minister Nikos Dendias was in the co-pilot’s seat of a Hellenic Air Force F-16 “Viper” on Friday that conducted a routine patrol flight in the southern Aegean. His flight on the US-made warplane came during an ongoing two-day visit to the large island of Crete, where the plane is part of the 340th squadron of the 115th combat wing.

Dendias is accompanied by Gen. Dimitrios Houpis, the chief of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff and Lt. Gen. Dimosthenis Grigoriadis, chief of staff of the Hellenic Air Force (HAFGS).

The 115th combat wing, based in Souda, is comprised of F-16 Viper aircraft, divided among the 340th and 343th squadrons. Plans are underway to upgrade at least 84 F-16s to “Viper” class. According to Lockheed-Martin, the warplane’s manufacturer, the Viper class “provides advanced warfighting capabilities that can be affordably tailored to meet national defense requirements.”

Following a flight of one hour and 15 minutes, reporters were briefed over the specific mission. Afterwards, a reception was held in the officers’ mess.