The induction ceremony of ten CH-47 “Chinook” helicopters and seventy OH-58D “Kiowa Warrior” helicopters took place on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at the headquarters of the 1st Hellenic Army Air Force Brigade in Stefanovikio.
The ceremony was attended and welcomed by the Minister of National Defense Evangelos Apostolakis.
Also present were: the Chief of Staff General Christos Christodoulou, the Chief of Hellenic Navy General StaffVice-Admiral Nikolaos Tsounis, the Chief of the Hellenic Army General Commander Georgios Kambas and the Chief of the Hellenic Air Force, Lieutenant General George Blioumis. Also attending were former Minister of National Defense Panos Kammenos. From the US side, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and Export Cooperation, Ann Cataldo, and US Ambassador to Athens, Geoffrey Pyatt, were present.
The induction of these helicopters, which is part of the implementation of the signed transnational agreements between Greece and the USA for the provision of defense equipment, upgrades the operational capabilities of the Army and the defense capabilities at an inter-branch level. Their operational exploitation will contribute to the capabilities of surveillance and reconnaissance as well as to the increased flexibility and capacity of the Armed Forces.
“The Armed Forces are the guarantors of peace and of the protection of the country’s territorial integrity. We will deter all that is happening and the Greek people should be calm,” Defence Minister Evangelos Apostolakis said at the ceremony for the delivery of Kiowa-Warrior and Chinook helicopters from the USA to Greece.
In his statements, Apostolakis referred to the agreement for the delivery of the helicopters, noting that “it was the best feasible for the helicopters, which will offer a lot and will enhance the Greek islands’ defence against any possible provocations,” adding that “our good relationship with the US is not confined to words alone but is also evident in actions.”
US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Defense Exports and Cooperation Ann Cataldo and the chiefs of the Greek Army, along with former defence minister Panos Kammenos, attended the ceremony.
In her statements, Cataldo expressed her satisfaction over the conclusion of this important agreement: “Greece is an excellent US ally,” she said.