HNDGS | The Hellenic Armed Forces participate in Multinational Exercise “STRONG BALKAN – 23” – Photos
Defence Redefined
Published on 11/11/2023 at 18:41

From Tuesday, October 31 to Friday, November 10, 2023, the Hellenic Armed Forces participated in the Multinational Exercise of Special Forces – Special Operations Forces “STRONG BALKAN – 23”. The said exercise was held in Tirana, Albania, with the participation of personnel and assets from Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Skopje, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Turkey.

Special Forces Exercises of a similar type are part of the “Balkan Nine Countries Combined Joint Special Operations Forces Exercises” (B-9 CJSE), which were first organized in 2011 as an initiative of the Inter-Balkan Summit of Chiefs of Armed Forces. Since then, a different country organizes the exercises every year. The said exercises are part of the wider planning of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff (HNDGS) regarding the international cooperation of the Hellenic Armed Forces, aiming to strengthen synergy and interoperability as well as to enhance the combat capability of the participating Armed Forces.

According to the relevant announcement, the activity in 2022 was hosted by Greece under the name “BALKAN SHIELD – 22”.

The Hellenic Armed Forces participated with personnel and assets as follows:

  • 1 Special Operations Task Unit (SOTU) of the Special Warfare Command of the HNDGS
  • 2 officers of the Special Warfare Command (tasked with planning).

During the exercise, freefall and static belt jumps, fast rope, rappel, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), Casualty Care as well as combat shots of rapid response – sniper shots were carried out among other things.

On Thursday, November 09, 2023, the Distinguished Visitors Day (DV DAY) of the exercise took place in the presence of the Commander of the 1st Infantry Division, Major General Sarantis Tiligadas, on behalf of the Commander of the Special Warfare Command of the HNDGS, Lieutenant General Dimitrios Houpis.

Also read: HNDGS | The Hellenic Armed Forces participate in Multinational Air Exercise “OCEAN SKY 2023”





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