Bilateral Consultations of the General Director of Defence Policy of the Hellenic Ministry of Defence with his counterpart and General Secretary of the Ministry of Defence of Austria, in Greece (Chania, 20-22 Mar. 24)


The General Directorate of National Defence Policy and International Relations (GDNDPIR) of the Ministry of National Defence (MoD), as part of its activities to strengthen Greece’s defence cooperation with various countries, invited a delegation of the Austrian Ministry of Defence to visit Crete from 20 to 22 March.

More particularly, a delegation of officials from the Defence Policy General Directorates of the Hellenic and Austrian Ministries of Defence, headed by the GDNDPIR General Director, Ambassador a.h. Michel Spinellis, and the Director of Defence Policy and General Secretary of the Austrian Ministry of Defence, Dr Arnold Kammel, visited Military premises and Armed Forces centres in Chania.

The purpose of the visit was to acquire information about the work of the local military entities – centers, their contribution to NATO’s operational training and the substantial role of our country in promoting and ensuring stability in the Southern Flank of the Alliance. In this light, the two delegations visited and were informed about the work and the mission of:

• The 115 Combat Wing.

• The NATO Integrated Air & Missile Defence Centre of Excellence (NATO IAMD CoE).

• The NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Centre (NATO NMIOTC).

• The NATO Missile Firing Installation (NATO NAMFI).

On the evening of Wednesday, 20 March 2024, a lunch was hosted in honour of the Austrian delegation, where the GDNDPIR General Director Ambassador a.h. Michel Spinellis and his counterpart Dr Arnold Kammel had the opportunity to exchange views on the set of actions aimed at strengthening the defence cooperation between Greece and Austria.

On Thursday, 21 March 2024, Ambassador a.h. Michel Spinellis and his counterpart Dr Arnold Kammel, together with their delegations, held bilateral consultations at the NAMFI Officers’ Club in Chania. The main pillars of the discussion were:

• The deepening of bilateral defence relations between Greece and Austria.

• Exploring ways of strengthening GR-AU cooperation within the EU.

• The security situation in the Eastern Mediterranean.

• The security situation in the Western Balkans

At the conclusion of the bilateral consultations, the two Defence Policy Directors recognised the excellent level of defence cooperation between the two countries.

In addition, the following was highlighted:

• The 115 CW’s important role – work, where the Greek A/F F-16 C/D Block 52+, as well as the F-16 Viper operate.

• The NATO IAMD CoE’s role in maintaining the Alliance’s technological advantage in the field of anti-aircraft and missile defence, while highlighting the outstanding strategic importance of Crete, both at national and allied level.

• The NATO NMIOTC’s role in the training of NATO, with a view to enhancing the capability of its forces to carry out (surface, underwater and airborne) surveillance missions, as well as to carry out special operations in support of naval deterrence operations.

• The NAMFI’s mission with regard to training and in particular, its contribution to the upgraded training of the Alliance in the anti-aircraft defence.

The abovementioned activity costituted an excellent opportunity of defence diplomacy and a way to highlight Greece’s substantial contribution to promoting and ensuring stability in NATO’s Southern Flank.