The US affirms Greek security in the face of Turkish Hostilities

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Minister of National Defence of #Greece Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos

Despite their shared NATO membership, tensions between the two countries continue to grow.

On Monday, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met with his Greek counterpart Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos to discuss the recent sale of F-35 fighter jets and joint U.S.-Greek cooperation in the Aegean Sea and the eastern Mediterranean area. 

Tensions have risen in recent months between the two NATO countries, with Turkey issuing a series of threats against Greece.

Victoria Coates, the former deputy national security adviser for the Middle East and North Africa, said of the meeting,

"Greece is a critical partner in the eastern Mediterranean that has been foundational in establishing regional energy and security coordination. As Turkey becomes increasingly adversarial, we will need more cooperation with Greece, not less."

Currently, allied crews have come together to exercise Poseidon's Rage 22, a large-scale live-fly event based out of Souda Air Base, Greece, July 11-22.

The exercise will see USAF F15-Es and F-35s deployed from RAF Lakenheath, England, operating alongside Hellenic Air Force F-16s from the 115th Combat Wing. The realistic live-fly scenario will allow NATO Allies to train complex mission sets and test tactics, techniques and procedures.

The multi-domain exercise will also include surface-based air defence units alongside land and maritime elements. This ensures the Allies can project credible air power in a joint and multinational environment ensuring units can operate closely together and increasing Alliance cohesion.

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The US affirms Greek security in the face of Turkish Hostilities 3

Today the Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias, together with Deputy Minister of National Defence Nikolaos Hardalias, Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff (HNDGS), General Konstantinos Floros, Chief of the Hellenic Air Force General Staff (HAFGS), Lieutenant General Themistoklis Bourolias and the US Ambassador George Tsunis, will travel to the 115th Combat Wing to attend the Distinguished Visitors' Day of the Greece-US Bilateral Joint Training Exercise "POSEIDON'S RAGE 22".

As part of his visit, the Minister is scheduled to visit the static display of F-35 fighters, a US Coast Guard vessel participating in the exercise and, lastly, the headquarters of the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Center (NMIOTC).