At the Greece-USA Bilateral Cross-Branch Exercise “Poseidon’s Rage 22”, in Chania, YFETHA Nikolaos Hardalias

At the Greece-USA Bilateral Cross-Branch Exercise “Poseidon’s Rage 22”, in Chania, YFETHA Nikolaos Hardalias

The Deputy Minister of National Defense Mr. Nikolaos Hardalias, watch, today Tuesday 19 July 2022, the activities of the Day of Distinguished Visitors (DVDAY) of the Greece-USA Bilateral Interdisciplinary Exercise named “‘Poseidon’s Rage 22”, which took place in Chania, in the presence of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Nikolaou Dendias.

Also present were the GEETHA Chiefs General Konstantinos Floros and General Staff (I) Themistocles Bourolias and the US Ambassador to Greece Mr. George Tsunis. The activities carried out at the headquarters of 115 PM also attended by the Commander of the Crete Shooting Range Major General Stavros Tzoumerkiotisthe Regional Police Director General Lt.-Gen George Lybinakisthe Commanders of the 5th Infantry Brigade Brig Nikolaos Yiannopoulosof Naustatmos of Crete Arch-Captain Nektarios Lymberakis PN and the Commanders of the local Services of the Security Forces.

As part of the Distinguished Visitors Day, the following events took place:

– Basic information from the Commanders of the 115th Fighter Wing (FM) Squadron Leader (I) Christos Grigoroudis and of 48 Operations Group Commander Colonel Peter Lee, as and static display of US fighter jets F-35 and F-15, at the headquarters of 115 AM, at Souda Air Base.

– Tour of the quarters of the US Coast Guard vessel “SENTINEL CLASS”, docked at the Crete Naval Station.

– Visit to the Naval Interdiction Training Center (KENAP)/NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Center – Greece (NMIOTC), where after the basic briefing by the Center Commander Arch. Charalambo Thymi PN, a demonstration took place with the participation of trained personnel of the Armed Forces and the Security Forces, in the subject “clearance – seizure of a ship” in the Gulf of Souda.

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The following is the greeting addressed by the Deputy Minister of National Defense after the basic briefing at the headquarters of 115 AM:

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you all to Chania for this important bilateral exercise of the Armed Forces of Greece and the United States of America.

Ladies and gentlemen, the alliance between Greece and the US has been an undisputed cornerstone of stability in the entire Eastern Mediterranean region for more than 75 years. Over the past three years, our government and the corresponding US authorities have done their utmost to ensure that the already strong bond between the two countries will become even stronger, especially by strengthening our bilateral defense cooperation. The culmination of these efforts – at least so far – was the recent five-year extension of the Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA) and its ratification by the Hellenic Parliament. This agreement includes the mutually beneficial increase in the US military footprint in the Gulf of Souda, an extremely important asset for conducting operations throughout the Eastern Mediterranean. Of course, we look forward to seeing our alliance evolve to an even higher level.

The Greek Armed Forces are going through a period where significant investments are being made in order to modernize their arsenal and upgrade the training of their personnel. In this context, we place particular emphasis on strengthening our capabilities in the air, at sea and on land. Our ambition corresponds to nothing less than the creation of the most advanced, capable and professional Armed Forces in modern Greek History. The importance of our countries’ cooperation in this direction is indisputable, as evidenced, among other things, by the agreed upgrade of a significant number of Greek F-16 fighter jets to the Viper version and the imminent supply of F-35 fighter jets. This iconic collaboration between the American and Greek defense industries will place the Hellenic Air Force among the most advanced in Europe.

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Ladies and gentlemen, this exercise will further prepare our countries’ Armed Forces to face a full range of challenges, taking into account the dynamic security environment we find ourselves in today. Furthermore, it will send a strong message against any aggression, international unrest and would-be aggressors that the mutual commitment of the Hellenic Republic and the United States of America is non-negotiable and steadfast. This is to be expected, as it is the result of 200 years of cooperation, based on shared strategic interests and values.

With these thoughts, I wish you all a safe and creative exercise.

Thank you».

Greetings were also addressed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Nikolaos Dendias, the Chiefs of the General Directorate of Defense Forces, General Konstantinos Floros and Vice Admiral (I) Themistocles Bourolias, and the US Ambassador to Greece, Mr. George Tsunis.

After the end of the activities, from the headquarters of KENAP, the Deputy Minister of National Defense, Mr. Nikolaos Hardalias, made the following statement:

We have come here today to witness the cooperation of the Armed Forces of two perennial allies, the United States of America. and Greece, which jointly participate in one of the most impressive educational activities of recent years, “Poseidon’s Rage 22”, in the heart of the eastern Mediterranean. From Crete, our own “unsinkable aircraft carrier”, the Hellenic Republic and the United States of America send a strong message of solidarity, deterrence and operational readiness”.


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