The exercises that have been taking place since last week in the area of Xanthi, northern Greece are seen as another example of what are being described as the excellent relations developing between the US Army and the Hellenic Armed Forces.
More specifically, the Olympic Cooperation 21 exercise, which began on November 6 and ends today, is part of the updated Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA) between Greece and the US and saw Greek army and armored units train with the the 1st Infantry Division, a combined arms division of the US Army, which is the oldest continuously serving division in the regular army.
This is the second time that American armored vehicles operated in Petrochori, Xanthi, crossing the Nestos River and, above all, building excellent relations with Greek officers. The US military presence in Greece is not limited to the presence of the 1st US Division in Xanthi, as it will expand in the coming weeks with the transport of vehicles and more than100 helicopters through Alexandroupoli. Vehicles and helicopters will be transported from Alexandroupoli via US Navy transport ships. The largest to date movement of forces from Eastern Europe to Greece through Alexandroupoli also indicates the intention of the Americans to demonstrate the possibility of rapid deployment from different locations through NATO territory.
At the same time, the Medusa 11 exercise in the western Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean is already unfolding. It began as a bilateral Greek-Egyptian drill and is constantly being enriched with the participation of other countries, besides Cyprus. This year, the United Arab Emirates will participate with special forces, while the presence of the French Navy is also expected.
Medusa will be completed on November 22 and will include a series of scenarios that combine the demonstration of the aeronautical capabilities of Greece and Egypt, but also the surveillance of ships to detect either terrorists or illegal arms traffickers.