NEWS

Revolution in organization of armed forces

You have announced what is perhaps the largest-ever reorganization of the armed forces,which provides, for the first time, for five joint-command headquarters. Over the next two years we can truly say there will be a revolution in the Greek armed forces, in line with modern developments. There is no longer a threat from the north, but unfortunately the threat from the east is stronger and other problems have emerged such as the instability on our northern borders, linked with organized crime, illegal immigration, and more recently international terrorism. There have also been rapid developments in military technology. The conditions of waging modern warfare have changed radically. The time has come, therefore, to make radical changes in the structure and philosophy of the way our armed forces are organized. My leadership at the ministry coincides with this major revolution, which has four characteristics. The first is the joint commands, taking administration from the army, navy and air force chiefs of staff to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, who via generals reporting directly to him will administer the joint command headquarters. At a Defense Council meeting recently, we decided to set up joint-command headquarters at the Fourth Army at the Evros, the Aegean military administration, the fleet headquarters at the Salamina navy base, the air force headquarters in Larissa, and the Strategic Reserves Headquarters, which will administer the Special Forces. The second factor is the new structure; one in four units will close, along with several camps. Our forces will be distributed around the country, with a focus on the threat from the east, the most crucial for our national security. The special forces are to be strengthened and supplied with transport, allowing them to move wherever they need to go if a crisis breaks out. Finally, computer technology will be used to set up a system of collecting and processing information enabling the effective use of smart weapons. We will indeed talk to the Turks, but we will not negotiate our national sovereign rights. This policy has been successful; it has improved the climate between Greece and Turkey.