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30/01/2018 17:40:43

Defence Minister Panos Kammenos visits Salamis Naval Base

     

            

    The Minister of National Defence Panos Kammenos, the Chief of HNGS Vice Admiral Nikolaos Tsounis and the Special Secretary of the Ministry of National Defence Kalliopi Papaleonidas visited the premises of Salamis Naval Base.

    The Minister of National Defence, when he addressed the civilian and military personnel, stated the following:

    It is a special pleasure for me to be here today, at Salamis Naval Base. This is not a courtesy call we are paying with the Chief of Hellenic Navy General Staff and the Special Secretary of the Ministry of National Defence.

    We are here, at salamis Naval Base, to thank you and congratulate you because, over all this period of crisis, both the military and the civilian personnel endured adverse conditions with lack of personnel more than 50% and shortage of resources. Not only you kept your morale, but you made us all proud of your achievements, particularly regarding the submarines, together with the employees of Skaramagkas shipyards, which was a miracle.

    Nobody believed that you would manage to complete this task. Nobody believed that the Naval Base would be able to maintain the assets of our Hellenic Navy and keep them so highly available as you did, inventing methods which were based on your profound knowledge and mostly on your will, because, for you, the Naval Base feels, especially the older among you – and I refer to both the military and the civilian personnel – like home. You care for the Hellenic Navy and your families.      

    So, the time has come for our country, thanks to the sacrifices of the Greek people, to come out of the crisis and acknowledge your efforts, and for us to have again the opportunity to reactivate this Naval Base and the defence industry of our Armed Forces. This is why we are here today.

    We will not be mourning for what happened in the past because many tried to shut down state structures – particularly structures of the Armed Forces – in order for individual middlemen to make profit, who practically charged 10, 20 and 100 times more for a work which you did at 1/10 or 1/20 of the price we used to pay. Funds, gathered through the hard efforts of the Greek people, were spent as bribes, through offsets or other programmes which built corruption in our country.
     
    We are here because this Greek Naval Base was created in 1881 and until nowadays it contributes decisively to the mission of the Hellenic Navy.

    Since 1821 until nowadays, it is a factor that defines national power and independence.

    Today is a special day. It is the commemoration day of the sacrifice of Hellenic Navy heroes, Panagiotis Vlachakos, Christodoulos Karathanasis and Ektoras Gialopsos, who were killed at Imia for their homeland, fighting in peace time under warfare conditions.

    This is the power that maintains the battle worthiness of our Hellenic Navy and demonstrates clearly that our present is ensured through the tradition of the past and that it also ensures our future.

    Since 2015, when I visited the Naval Base for the first time, we started an effort to complete older programmes, despite the financial adversities we had and the budget cuts of 40%. You respected every Greek citizen and you managed to accomplish the work you had been assigned.

    We were called on to find out solutions to many problems from the past, and mostly to the major issue of the maintenance of the Fleet in respect with the rationalization of the Armed Forces armament programme.

    Indicatively, I would like to note that the support you provide to assets of the Hellenic Navy, such as maintenance, repairs, training activities show the flexibility and the capabilities of this Naval Base, as well as the contribution of its personnel and employees and, of course, I refer to the Naval Base of Chania.

    It is time now for us to start planning our future and how we will move on. I was informed earlier by the Commander about the existent deficiencies.

    First of all, we will begin by using every existent capability of assigning military personnel in order to cover the necessary positions within the next year.

    Secondly, we will give the opportunity to citizens, particularly to young people who study either in Technological Institutions or in Technical or other Universities to come here and have their basic training as required by their schools.

    If they choose to come here, we will give them the opportunity, without any further selection procedure other than the criteria set up by you, their superiors, the military and civilian personnel in every workshop, to fulfil their military service directly in the Hellenic Navy without any preliminary training, in the workshops where they received their initial training. That is after finishing their studies in Technological Institutions or in the Technical University, they may come here to attend training and they will know that they will serve their military service in the same workshop where they were trained.

    At the end of their service, these young people will have the chance, if they meet our requirements – and it is you who will be able to make this decision, it will not include any political criteria, no more nepotism, but only on the condition that they satisfy the criteria of technicians and scientists we have – they can serve as Short-term Reenlisting Privates.   

    The Special Secretary has already prepared and I have signed the new regulation. So, this new regulation will be enriched every year. From those young people who will serve here and will perform their service as Short-term Reenlisting Privates, new civilian personnel will be hired according to the points you will have given them, as supervisors, in any technical service they serve.   

    This will bring new personnel whom you will have selected and they will be the new employees of the Naval Base here, in Chania. In parallel, we will create those conditions which will allow us to assign personnel from other posts of the public sector quickly. To achieve this, we have to make the service in the Naval Base and in Base Factories more attractive than the services they currently work in.  

    We should also contact the associations in the area of Perama. Perama built our Merchant Marine. Employees, who are experts in this domain, after the crisis began and, unfortunately, after certain ship-owners decided to leave Greece, are now in Perama unemployed. At this point, we will make an effort with the Special Secretary to contact the Hellenic Manpower Employment Organisation and create programmes which will give unemployed experts in Perama the chance to come to the Naval Base and help us, and join our force; of course, former employees of Skaramagkas Shipyards will have a priority.

    I am sure that your devotion to your work and your professionalism and the profound devotion of the military and civilian personnel to the Hellenic Navy will help us create such conditions that will enhance the Naval Base, within 2018 which will be the Personnel Welfare year,  and it will become the basic tool for our Hellenic Navy, not only for the maintenance of its assets, but for the employment of its capabilities as well, so that it will be able to plan a brilliant future.

    I would like you to know that you have the full support of the political and military leadership. We are open to the suggestions you will make and we have to send everybody the message that, when Thucydides said that “the dominion of the sea is a great matter” which is the diachronic emblem of the Hellenic Navy and Greeks’ seamanship, he said it because the national sovereignty is ensured by the Navy and it cannot be measured in vessels or in money, but it is measured by the seamanship and the ingeniousness of the Greek people based on you have been keeping this Naval Base alive since 1881 even without any help from the state.

    We will move on together to the future and I believe that next year we will be here again, we will have new with us new people who will be the future as long as you welcome them and train them like the old employees trained you and thus we will be able to integrate them in the personnel of the Hellenic Navy and of Salamis Naval Base.

    Thank you very much.”


         

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