A joint exercise called “Kentavros” was held at the Petrohori site in the town of Xanthi, 150 km from the Turkish border, by Greek and US ground forces.
TRUE BULLET TRAINING
During exercise “Kentavros”, which took place as part of “Defender Europe 21”, considered the largest United States exercise in Europe, the tanks and helicopters of the ground forces of both countries reached representative targets with real bullets. 517 soldiers and 69 officers from the Greek land forces, 309 soldiers and 29 officers from the US land forces participated in “Centavros21”, where Orthodox clergy read prayers and consecrate. At the end of the exercise, 2 Greek parachute commandos, one Greek and the other American, made their jump, carrying flags.
The American Ambassador also watched
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Goffrey Pyatt, US Ambassador to Athens, after the final phase of the exercise, said: “A stronger and more secure Greece is important to the interests of the United States. “The two countries have supported each other as friends and allies for two centuries,” he said. “We want to strengthen our defense cooperation with the United States,” said Alkiviadis Stefanis, Greek Deputy Minister of Defense. The two countries are reliable NATO allies, ”he said.
Greece was first included in the United States’ Defender Europe 21 exercise plans based on the “Russian threat in Central and Eastern Europe” scenarios.
The United States has shipped 145 helicopters, more than 1,800 armored vehicles and more than 20,000 military personnel to various European countries using the Greek port of Dedeaağaç for “Defender Europe 21”. Especially in recent times, the Greek government, which wants the United States to increase its presence in the country, seems ready to recognize all kinds of military conveniences in this framework. Negotiations on the new Defense Cooperation Protocol (MDCA), which is expected to be completed by the end of the summer, discuss military installations in 20 different regions of the country, including Iskiri Island (Skiros) in the middle of the Aegean Sea and the town of Xanthi in western Thrace. Greece has provided military installations to the United States, which has a naval air base in the Suda region on the island of Crete, in the port of Alexandroupolis and the Stefanovikio air base near Larisa in recent years.