The U.S. Army’s 1st Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB), 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), together with Greek Special Operations forces of the Hellenic Armed Forces, executed Eddie’s Odyssey, a first of its kind, joint training mission on Velopoula Island and over the Aegean Sea, on January 13-14.

The exercise, named after Ugly Eddie the battalion’s mascot, consisted of U.S. AH-64E Apaches, UH-60M, and HH-60M Black Hawk helicopters working together with Hellenic 1st Aviation Brigade Apaches and CH-47D Chinook helicopters.

The joint training encompassed troop transports, aerial coverage operations, and the provision of medical evacuation capabilities to Greek special operations forces (SOF), while they operated on objectives only accessible by traversing long distances over water.

Army AH-64E Apache attack helicopter
Three U.S. Army AH-64E Apache attack helicopters over Velopoula Island in the Aegean Sea, January 14, 2021. (U.S. Army National Guard/Staff Sgt. Garrett L. Dipuma)

“This exercise was really built from the ground up,” said Lt. Col. Anthony Marston, 1st battalion commander. “We had some time on our calendar and at the company level there were folks who were interested in doing over-water training and some live-fire exercises. Working with the Greeks, we were able to plan Eddie’s Odyssey, an air-assault and deliberate attack exercise.”