US Wants to Rotate More Troops into Greece, Use of Bases

FILE - Souda Bay, Greece (Sept. 13, 2010) The Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) and embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU) arrive in Souda Bay, Greece for a brief port visit. (U.S. Navy photo by Paul Farley/Released)

Seeking to capitalize on increasingly close relations, the United States wants to use Greek military bases that are under-utilized and increase troop rotations into the country to support missions from the East Mediterranean into the Black Sea and Balkans.

US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt outlined the idea, said Stars and Stripes, saying it’s part of a longstanding defense cooperation between the countries who have been allies in every major war.

The US has a naval base at Souda Bay but it’s up to capacity and “is pretty much full,” Pyatt told the Greek newspaper Kathimerini, adding that Greece has other bases that could be used by US forces and to help missions.

“That’s one of the priorities as our experts work on the Defense Cooperation Agreement,” he told the paper as the U.S. European Command’s General Tod Wolters came to Athens to talk with Chief Defense Gen. Christos Christodoulou on military ties between the two countries.

“With Greece being such a valuable NATO ally in the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions, we do have a commitment at the highest level to seek opportunities to continue developing our defense relationship and security cooperation,” said Lt. Cmdr. Joe Hontz, a EUCOM spokesman.

Former Greek defense minister Panos Kammenos said he wanted more US bases in Greece, citing Larissa, Volos and Alexandroupouli as possibilities although nothing has come of that with the US said to be more interested more in rotating troops and using drones that come out of Larissa.

Rotational units, including Army combat aviation aircraft, have deployed to other parts of the country.

“The tempo of our military engagement today is higher than it has been in decades (and) we have a commitment on the part of both of our governments to making that exercise series, that rotation series, even bigger and more substantial for the next season,” Pyatt said. “So we’re well-positioned there.”

That comes amid growing tensions in the Aegean and East Mediterranean with fellow NATO ally Turkey raising tensions, with no rebuke from the defense alliance.

There’s also worry that Greece, wanting more foreign investors, had ceded away too much control of the port of Piraeus to the Chinese company COSCO which took a major stake under a privatization drive demanded by Greece’s international creditors.

“If we want to pull a ship, a warship, into Piraeus, China can say no,” a EUCOM official told Stars and Stripes in May about the concern.

2 Comments

  1. As an American Taxpayer,please just say no.to these foreign occupiers who are costing the American public over 850 billions dollars to maintain and expand over 850 bases in 80 countries of the world which extorts 60 % of revenues produced by the American people!

    Importantly, the have been used to kill 3 1/2 million non Anglo American and British citizens in the Middle East and are now threatening to obliterate Iran and Afganistan!

    Importantly, they are certifiable war criminals.and in fact have been banned from ever entering the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem for the slaughter of 500,000 Iraqis, libyans, Syrian, and the prime drone users in Yemen, Somalia , Afganistan etc etc.

    The International Criminal Court at the Haque, probing war crimes and crimes against humanity charges against the U.S. Nato and Israel for occupations and wars in Afghanistan and Middle East.and is considering charges, but have been advised by the SS officer John Bolton who does not represent the American people.or taxpayers but Aristocratic Billionaires interests!..

    Today the Iraqi government wants them out of their country, Syria wants them out of their, Honduras wants them out of their country Venezuela, South Korea. etc etc.

    Why does Greece need more U.S bases .when the U.S has plenty of bases in Italy, Turkey, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Qatar,and Anglo Nato Ally British in Cyprus, and spent 1 billion of my money on creating …there bases in Poland …called Fort.Trump!

    1. As a Greek, I find it ridiculous that the moderators show such poor moral and intellectual judgement to allow such an obvious falseflag to repeatedly post your gibberish here.

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