Official country visit of Chair of NATO Committee to Greece

NATO

On 16-17 September 2021, the Chair of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Rob Bauer was in Greece to meet with the Minister of Defence, Mr Nikos Panagiotopoulos and the Chief of Defence, General Konstantinos Floros. He also travelled to Crete to visit the Souda Naval Base, the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Centre (NMIOTC), the Integrated Air & Missile Defence (IAMD) Centre of Excellence and the NATO Missile Firing Installation (NMFI).

Admiral Rob Bauer, Chair of the NATO Military Committee, and General Konstantinos Floros, Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff, salute the Hellenic Military Honour Guard

After a brief welcome ceremony, the Chair of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Bauer sat down with General Floros, the Greek Chief of Defence. They reviewed the agenda for the upcoming NATO Military Committee Conference held this weekend in Athens. “I am grateful for Greece for hosting the 30 NATO Chiefs of Defence this weekend, this is yet another demonstration of Greece’s continued and enduring commitment to our Alliance”, he acknowledged. The two officials also discussed Greece’s ongoing operational commitments to NATO missions and activities. “Greece is currently providing personnel to our missions in Kosovo and Iraq as well as to Operation Sea Guardian and our Standing Naval Forces. NATO Nations have been facing the biggest security challenges in a generation from the East and from the South, and together they are responding”, added Admiral Bauer.

His meeting with Minister of Defence, Mr Nikos Panagiotopoulos centred on the recent devastating wildfires and the role of Armed Forces in disaster response. “The wildfires were an ecological catastrophe. I commend the citizens of Greece and the Hellenic Armed forces who came together and fought to stem the wildfires. In the face of adversity, they showed great determination and resilience”, stressed Admiral Bauer. The Chair also discussed with the Minister on Greece the various strategic security challenges that are facing the Alliance.

Admiral Bauer then travelled to the Island of Crete to visit the Souda Naval Base, which provides strategic support to US, allied, and coalition forces operating, deployed or transiting through the eastern Mediterranean. He also toured the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Centre (NMIOTC), which helps train allied military experts in the latest maritime interdiction techniques. The programme continued with visits of the Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) Centre of Excellence, and the NATO Missile Firing Installation (NAMFI). “Greece is helping our Alliance strengthen its maritime posture, its air defences and the training to our forces. This exemplifies our need to not only work together but to work together smarter. This makes our collective defence more efficient”, concluded Admiral Bauer.

Greece is hosting the 2021 edition of the NATO Military Committee Conference in Athens from 17 to 19 September.

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