Greek troops join NATO exercise

Greek warships and fighter jets have been dispatched to Spain and across the Mediterranean Sea for NATO’s biannual exercise «Dynamic Mix 2002» that started this week, the Defense Ministry said yesterday. Greece has sent a special operations unit, two frigates, two minesweepers and six F-16 fighter jets, in an exercise that features 15,000 troops, over 50 ships and 150 aircraft from 13 NATO nations. The maneuvers, aimed at training forces in crisis response, collective defense and humanitarian assistance operations, started yesterday and will run through June 6, with operations to be conducted in Spain (including the Canary Islands), the western Mediterranean, the southeast Atlantic and Turkey. Participating forces come from Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. French forces will also take part in the maneuvers as part of their normal training relations with the allies. This year the maneuvers will incorporate the annual mine-countermeasures live exercise «Damsel Fair,» for which it has sent two ships. Dynamic Mix is considered one of NATO’s largest military exercises, aiming to maintain a high level of readiness among NATO forces, and enhance command and control procedures and communications interfaces throughout NATO’s southern region.