The NATO accepted the Turkish demand to exempt the island of Lemnos from an joint multinational exercise with the participation of member states of the North Atlantic alliance. This decision left Greece with no other choice than to withdraw from the NATO exercise on electronic warfare. Last year, the island of Lemnos was included in the Ramstein Guard Electronic Warfare Force Integration Programme exercise.
According to reports, the representative of Turkey in Ramstein, Germany, demanded that the island of Lemnos is excluded. Apparently in an effort to reiterate Ankara’s claim for the demilitarization of the Greek islands.
The NATO accepted the Turkish demand and moreover without previously briefing Athens. It informed Greece only late on Sunday night, just hours before the launch of the exercise.
Greece’s General Staff took all the necessary protest actions, but the NATO did not change its decision.
Therefore Greece withdrew from the exercise.
“It is not possible to exempt Lemnos and accept the unreasonable and unfounded Turkish claims,” officials said, according to ANT1 TV.
RAMSTEIN GUARD 2 17 LIVEX (NATO) March 20-24, 2017, Greece
Operational Design: The NATO Electronic Warfare Force Integration Programme is a means to exercise the NATO designated regional elements of NATO’s Integrated Air Defence System conducted through the CAOCs while also including some national systems and assets. It is designed to train AC Ramstein and subordinate units on the reporting/ coordination requirements while exposing them to a wide variety of EW tactics and techniques in a controlled environment.
In this atmosphere, Chief of Air Force General Staff, Lieutenant General Christos Christodoulou flew on Monday morning with an F-16 fighter jet that landed on Limnos.
The Greek Navy is conducting the technical exercise “Αστραπή 3/17” (Lightning 3/17) in the central Aegean Sea, 20-22 March 2017.
The Turkish government is currently busy with verbally attacking Germany and accusing Chancellor Angela Merkel of “Nazi practices”. this, however, does not mean that Ankara forgets to challenge Greece.
After nine days in the area of the eastern Aegean Sea, oceanographic research vessel Piris Reis returned to Turkey. It was closely monitor by the Greek Coast Guard that filmed it while in the Chios island Strait.
Hellenic Coast Guard HCG 080 Agios Efstratios, a Saar4 class OPV, monitoring Turkish oceanographic research/survey vessel R/V Koca Piri Reis escorted by SG 61, a SAR 33 class Turkish Coast Guard patrol boat, northbound Chios Strait in Aegean Sea.