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From boots to tactical support, Greece is behind OEF

Story by Airman 1st Class Andrea Thacker
Thunderbolt Editor
photo by Staff Sgt. Chance Babin
Left to right, Greek Army Col. Pavlos Liakopoulos, Greek Navy commander Ioannis Kalogeropoulos, Greek Air Force Col. Dimitrios Prokopiou and Greek Army Brig. Gen. Evangelous Koumbis pose for a photo outside their trailer in Coalition Village.

The Greeks are known for founding civilization based on the principles of law and order so it 's not surprising that the Greek military has joined the fight against the lawlessness of terrorism as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Greece responded promptly, with the first Greeks arriving at Coalition village Dec. 23, 2001, with a full will to assist in fighting the terrorism threat.

"We understand that this is going to be difficult but we will remain flexible because we know that the war on terrorism may last a very long time," said Greek Army Brig. Gen. Evangelous Koumbis.

Since arriving a year and a half ago, Greece has been busy providing personnel, assets and capabilities. As of now Greece has five members deployed to Coalition Village consisting of two Army officers, one Army noncommissioned officer, one Navy officer and one Air Force officer.

Besides deploying personnel to support operations, Greece has made several donations to the Afghan National Army; resources that range from vehicles to socks. It has donated pick-up trucks, forklifts, power generators, water purification units and other mechanical equipment. It also has provided more than 650 Afghan soldiers with battle dress uniforms, boots, belts, socks, brushes, polishes and canteens.

It has provided airlift support to transport humanitarian assistance and equipment donated from other countries in the coalition to Afghanistan.

The Greek members deployed to Coalition village are more than supportive of Operation Enduring Freedom and believe strongly in fighting and ending the War on Terrorism.

"I am proud to be serving in this coalition," said Ioannis Kalogeropoulos, Greek Navy commander who has been here for over a year. "That is why I wear this operation (OEF) patch over my heart." Air Force Col. Dimitrios Prokopiou, a Greek airman who has also been here a year and a half, feels the same.

"We (Greece) fully support the WOT and I believe everyone can do something to eliminate this threat," said Colonel Prokopiou.

Terrorism is not a new concept and Greece is just one of many countries that has suffered from acts of terrorism. "Coalition village was a very good idea," said Greek Army Col. Pavlos Liakopoulos. "With the countries joining forces, there is a better chance of reaching our goal; fighting the War on Terrorism."





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