Naval special operations forces from the Cypriot Underwater Demolition Team , the Greek Underwater Demolition Team and U.S. Navy Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen, joined forces to conduct a maritime exercise in Souda Bay, in the Greek island of Crete, between January 11-29.
According to the Cyprus Ministry of Defence, the tri-lateral Special Operations Forces exercise, which was designed to better enable global operations, included Over the Beach (OTB), Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS) and Small Boat Interdiction (SBI).
“We know the importance of joint exercises like this and hope to work closely with partners in the future, which contribute to enhancing security and stability in the region.” Charalambos Petrides, Minister of Defense of Cyprus said.
Greek Minister of Defence Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos said that the inclusion of Cypriot forces created an opportunity to expand capabilities and relationships with partner nations in the neighboring area.
“We are all strong nations individually,” Panagiotopoulos, said, adding “but it’s imperative to understand that we can always learn and grow stronger by cross-training together with our partners and allies.”
U.S. Naval SWCC team leader said that “these exercises help keep us sharp, prepared, and consistent. We are able to communicate and integrate fluidly when we train together on a regular basis”.