The Minister of National Defence Panos Kammenos, accompanied by the Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff, Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis, the Chief of the Hellenic Navy General Staff, Vice Admiral Nikolaos Tsounis and the Chief of Fleet, Vice Admiral Ioannis Pavlopoulos, attended the commencement of “PARMENION 2018” Joint Exercise from the Frigate “PSARA”.
The exercise scenario, which was attended by the Minister of National Defence, involved the recapturing of a ship and a drill in responding to air attacks from a surface unit.
Addressing the personnel, the Minister of National Defence stated amongst other things the following:
“Greece becomes particularly powerful from a geopolitical point of view in Southeast Mediterranean Sea and the Balkans. Greece is a land of stability; a focal point, as a result of the bilateral agreements concluded with Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates, but also with the Balkan countries in the north. We are the most reliable ally of NATO and the United States of America.
As you are well aware, within the following months, the exploitation of underwater resources and natural gas in particular will commence. This means the EEZ will be immediately recognized and the area of responsibility of the Ministry of National Defence and the Greek Armed Forces will be extended, particularly southwards.
Therefore, we assume the responsibility of a region, in particular the one that is situated between Crete, Suez, Cyprus and Malta, where the greatest illicit trafficking of firearms, oil and drugs is carried out, thus financing terrorism. Consequently, we assume an area of responsibility that should put us on the front line, as a country aware of addressing a terrorist threat. Your training for the past few months on land and at sea will lead to next trainings.
On behalf of the Greek people and the Greek government, I would like to thank you and tell you that we are proud of what you are doing, of your professionalism. As Minister of National Defence, I am particularly pleased, because I accept congratulations from all countries with which you are jointly trained. You are an example. Keep up the good work; maintain your high morale and professionalism. On our part, we will do the right thing.”