Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tension Rising in the Aegean

Strategy-Geopolitics reports that tension in the Aegean is rising to a dangerous level with Turkey trying to drag Athens to the negotiating table with any means possible.

Yesterday Turkey issued a NOTAM (Notice To Air Men) with which it refuses to recognise Greek jurisdiction for Search and Rescue in the area between Rhodes and Kastellorizo. This is the wider area in which on the 19th of November the final phase of the “Dosttluk Denizi 2009” exercise will take place with Egypt. The Turkish Navy will participate in this exercise with two frigates, one corvette, one submarine, two fast attack craft, two patrol boats and one special operations team (SAT), as well as aerial assets.

On the same day the Greek Armed Forces will execute the joint medium scale exercise “Ionas 2009” for the second consecutive year. This will take place in the Central Aegean (between Chios and Samos) and its airspace. The purpose of the exercise is to demonstrate the readiness of the Search and Rescue system and the level of training of the forces involved. This exercise will see the participation of one frigate with its S-70 ASW helicopter, two gunboats, one C-130 aircraft, two Super Puma helicopters, 4 fighter aircraft, members of the Underwater Demolition Command as well as the Air Force’s 31st Special Operations Squadron. The exercise will be monitored by the leadership of the Armed Forces from a frigate.

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