The Minister of National Defence Mr Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos accompanied the Prime Minister Mr Kyriakos Mitsotakis during his visit to the 115 Battle Wing of the Hellenic Air Force, at Cape Souda, where they were briefed on the “Net Zero Energy” model installation materialised according to NATO policy on “Green Defence”.
The Minister of National Defence was accompanied by the Chief of HNDGS General Konstantinos Floros and the Chief of HAFGS Lieutenant General Georgios Blioumis.
During his address, Mr Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos stressed the following:
“Today is a special day for the Hellenic Air Force and the Ministry of National Defence, since here at the 115 Battle Wing, we are witnessing a new chapter in the upgrade of the Air Force’s infrastructures and of the Armed Forces in general.
At present, NATO has set, since 2014, as a strategic goal of the forces’ operation, a new context connecting functional effectiveness with environmental protection and energy performance of its military installations, worldwide.
When we declared 2020 as the year of “Research, Technological Development, Innovation and Environmental Protection”, we set goals which will function as a guide for the planning of the Armed Forces’ infrastructures and capabilities.
Earlier, as you are aware, the foundations were set for the New Crete International Airport, granting a consistent request by Crete for a modern and secure airport, which will constitute the island’s connection with the world, increasing its touristic competitiveness.
Along with the materialisation of such an ambitious and innovative technical project and within that context, the private initiative, being an actor of innovation and development, stands in with the Armed Forces in order to make the 115 Battle Wing a field of tentative application of innovative technical solutions, regarding energy management.
For the first time, with no burden for the state budget, an Air Force Wing is made autonomous in terms of energy. Through a combination of photovoltaic panels, energy accumulators, interventions at the power network and the facilities, as well as the provision of electrically driven means of transport, the Unit is anticipated to become the first fully autonomous one, in terms of energy and with zero carbon dioxide emissions.
These interventions will not only have an environmental impact, but will also enhance the Wing’s operational capability, since its autonomy in energy will fortify its readiness and effectiveness.
I would like to stress the obvious financial benefit of this application for the Ministry’s budget, since it is wholly funded by private funds and is granted to the Hellenic Air Force”.