The drones are being stationed at Larisa under the aegis of an existing joint training order between the two nations. Staff handling the take-off and landing of the Reapers will be stationed at Larisa, with operators in the continental U.S. handling normal flight operations via satellite — a common set-up for the MQ-9.

The aircraft only fly through Greek airspace ”on routes that have been approved by the Greece government and while operating in Greek airspace are in contact with Greek Air Traffic Control authorities at all times,” said Auburn Davis, chief of media operations for USAF Air Forces Africa, told Defense News.

Pahon declined to say what base the drones usually operate from, but there are a few options in Africa. Notably, the U.S. is currently expanding the Agadez Air Base in Niger to prepare for greater use of the MQ-9.

While the mission of the MQ-9s stationed at Greece will be focused southward, the move has potential to upset America’s NATO ally Turkey. The U.S. has long relied on the Incirlik military base to launch operations in the region, but the relationship between Washington and Ankara has been strained ever since a 2016 coup attempt by members of the Turkish military.

That the U.S. can indeed use Greek facilities for this mission is will be noted by Ankara, writes Defense News.

PS I’m really curious what the drones survey over Greece.