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Special Operations units and armed forces of the US and Greece form new defence agreement on strategic cooperation

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The US armed forces and the Armed Forces of Greece have increasingly made a greater effort of military cooperation and training in Greece, a country of key geo-political relevance within the region of Europe to help enhance the defence capabilities.

Within this framework there has been recent developments with the cooperation between special forces of both countries, with the Navy Seals and the Green Berets operating alongside Greek special forces last month, on November.

Regarding the military and diplomatic strategic relationship between Greece and the US, George Pyatt, ambassador to Greece has recently said in a statement on Wednesday after a joint training event at the Greek capital that he was “impressed to see not only the growth in the U.S- Greece Special Forces partnership but also the way the Hellenic Special Forces are working across a wide region”.

Both countries have participated also in a joint military drill in the Aegean, with the Greek head of General Staff Konstandinos Floros and U.S. Ambassador to Athens Geoffrey Pyatt visited the warship USS Mount Whitney, from the U.S.’ 6th Fleet, which participated in the exercise.

From the strategic perspective of the US, finding ways to step up military cooperation with Greece has been a goal of critical importance as units increase rotations to the region.

In addition, the US has also donated watercraft to the Greek special force’s unit, with the US having donated in this year four Mark V special operations craft to Greece, a high-speed patrol vessel that has been in service and use by the SEAL´s but have recently been withdrawn from service, having an original value of 21 million dollars and having been given to the Greek Navy under the U.S excess defence articles program.

Adding to the recent training operations of the last month in the country, the U.S. Special Operations Command Europe troops patrolled off the coast of Athens to showcase the operational capabilities of the donated boats, with the drills having the aim of demonstrating how conventional and special operations units can coordinate for rapid response missions across the Mediterranean region, according to SOCEUR, with a Greek UH-1H Huey having also joined the drills.   

These efforts are part of the US updated defence agreement with Greece that in October has allowed for a greater access to Greek military bases in the eastern Mediterranean, where Russia has expanded naval operations and maintains air and naval bases in nearby Syria.

The U.S. Navy has maintained a decades long presence at Souda Bay in Crete, but the Army and Air Force have begun to play larger roles in the country, with rotational forces moving through military sites in Alexandroupoli, Larissa and Stefanovikio, with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken after signing the new defence cooperation deal with the Greek government saying that the plan would enable U.S. forces to train from an expanded array of bases indefinitely.

Written by Pedro Sena 

Kissel, Thomas. “US, Greece Intensify Military Cooperation Through Naval, Land Drills”, Greek Reporter, 18thNovember, 2021.

Vandiver, John. “Navy SEALs, Army Green Berets train with Greek special operators as bilateral military ties deepen”, Stars and Stripes, 26th November, 2021.

Nedos, Vasilos. “Greek-US drills reflect deepening ties”,,16thNovember, 2021.

Bowman, Bradley; Erdemir, Aykan. “Erdogan’s Belligerence Has U.S., Greece Expanding Ties Growing military cooperation offers Washington a hedge against Ankara and Moscow.”, Foreign Policy, 26th October, 2021.