ATHENS – At the invitation of the Chief of the General Staff of the Hellenic Army, Lieutenant General Charalampos Lalousis, the President of the American Hellenic Institute, Nick Larigakis, attended the transfer ceremony of the 44 first U.S. Army M1117 Armored Security Vehicles to the Hellenic Army on 2 December.
“It was a huge honor to attend the handover ceremony,” President Larigakis said. “I appreciate Lieutenant General Lalousis for the invitation to attend an important event that underscores the significant progress made in the defense partnership between the two allies, as expressed in the Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement recently reinforced. We applaud the American and Greek military officials who worked so hard to make this event a reality.
Larigakis added, “Greece is a vital and reliable NATO ally in advancing American interests and is a frontline state against terrorism. This transfer demonstrates that point.
Eventually, 1,200 M1117 vehicles will be transferred to Greece at a value of nearly $1 billion and at no cost to Greece under the Excess Defense Article program. The next transfer of 400 vehicles should take place in early 2022.
“This is a transfer the U.S. military is making and the U.S. Congress has approved, reflecting our commitment to continue building on the strength of a relationship that has culminated but is not still at its peak,” the US ambassador said. to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt said in his remarks to the audience. “It’s an investment we make in each other because a stronger and more secure Greece makes our alliance stronger and more secure, and therefore makes the United States stronger and more secure.”
The transfer took place at the 301 military factory in the suburbs of Athens.
The American Hellenic Institute is a nonprofit Greek-American public policy center and think tank that works to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus, and within the Greek-American community.
More information is available online: https://www.ahiworld.org/.