ATHENS – Co-President of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), Mr. Andreas Dracopoulos, and representatives of the SNF attended on Tuesday the tactical exercises at the Hellenic Army General Staff – Engineer Directorate in Loutraki, in the presence of the Chief of the Hellenic Army General Staff, Lieutenant General Alkiviadis Stefanis. The visit is part of the Foundation’s evaluation of its recent grants towards the Armed Forces, according to the SNF‘s announcement.
The tactical exercise, entitled “Combined operations for the elimination of hybrid threats, search and rescue missions in urban, mountain and aquatic environments, and extermination of explosive devices” are part of the Special Forces and Engineer Directorate staff members’ training. The multidisciplinary program highlighted the important role of the Armed Forces in supporting society in emergency situations.
Mr. Dracopoulos stated: “We would like to thank the staff of the Engineer Directorate for the program, which demonstrated the multidimensional role of the Army, as well as the high level of staff training. The social aspect of the Army’s role is not limited to emergency situations, but it actively supports the development of local communities as well. As such, any further utilization of the Army’s existing services and forces can positively contribute to the empowerment of Greek society and its citizens”.
As part of its grant making activity and support of Greek Society, the SNF’s Board of Directors recently approved a grant totaling €1.7 million for the complete renovation of the Hellenic Army Academy’s five dormitory buildings. In addition, the grant supports the Academy’s educational programs, specifically the participation of Cadets and Officers in foreign exchange programs and MA Degrees in collaboration with the United States Military Academy at West Point. The Hellenic Army Academy, which celebrates its 190th anniversary, surpasses the conventional character of a military school. The activities of the Academy, in addition to teaching Military Science, include research in related applied sciences, as well as the social, cultural and political education of its students. Graduates of the Academy have distinguished themselves not only as Army Officers, but also as top-level scientists. It is worth noting that the first civil engineers, as well as the first professors in Physics and Mathematics, came from the Academy’s ranks, before the relevant faculties in Greek Universities were established.
In addition, the SNF has provided a grant totaling €5 million for the purchase of equipment, as well as the restoration and expansion of the Radiotherapy Department at the 401 Military Hospital of Athens. The SNF grant covers, among other things, the purchase and installation of two new state-of-the-art linear accelerators. The 401 Military Hospital of Athens is the biggest military hospital in Greece, with a staff of 1,000 members and a capacity of 550 beds. In addition to military personnel, the Hospital’s Radiotherapy Department is accessible to civilians, who account for 60% of all patients using the department’s services. The services of the two new linear accelerators, covered by the SNF grant, will be accessible to the general public.
During their meeting, Lieutenant General Alkiviadis Stefanis gifted Mr. Dracopoulos a collection of authentic medals from the entire range of medals awarded by the Army, in honor of his and the SNF’s philanthropic contribution.