Ministry of Defence | Multinational CIMIC Exercise “ARGONAUT 2023”
Defence Redefined
Published on 19/05/2023 at 12:47

The Multinational CIMIC Exercise “ARGONAUT 2023” took place in the sea, air and land area of the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) and was successfully completed today.  

The exercise was conducted by the Ministry of Defence in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Civil Defence and the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, under the general coordination of the National Guard. It was held with the participation of many governmental agencies and services of the RoC.

According to a relevant announcement, the exercise was carried out in three phases to test the Special National Plans “ESTIA” and “TEFKROS”, which deal with the reception of non-combatants from neighbouring countries as well as to confront mass Search and Rescue incidents within the area of responsibility of the Republic of Cyprus. 

Also read: Ministry of Defence | Multinational Exercise of Civil-Military Cooperation “ARGONAFTIS 2022″

The 1st phase was coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Guard General Staff and included a tabletop exercise on the implementation of the National Plan “ESTIA”. The scenario focused on the evacuation of non-combatants from a crisis area and their reception. Sixteen State agencies of Cyprus participated in the scenario and representatives of 18 countries also participated in the NEOCG (Non-combatant Evacuation Operations Coordination Group). 

Phase 2 of the exercise focused on Search and Rescue scenarios and was under the coordination of JRCC Larnaca. The Special National Plan “TEFKROS” was implemented to deal with naval and aircraft accidents within the Republic of Cyprus’ area of responsibility. A total of 38 aeronautical assets and services with 800 personnel from the RoC, Egypt, Greece, the UK, France, the United States of America, Italy, and Israel participated in the SAR scenario.

The 3rd and final phase of exercise ARGONAUT was the Day of Distinguished Visitors (DVDay) and was conducted in the afternoon of May 18th, 2023, with real-life implementation of National Plan “ESTIA”, to deal with the reception of non-combatants in foreign countries to Cyprus and their reception by the state agencies.  

Also read: Cyprus | Cyprus Police motorcyclists are trained by the Hellenic Police

The exercise was observed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Konstantinos Kompos, the Minister of Defence, Mr. Michalis Giorgallas, the Chief of the National Guard, Lieutenant General Demokritos Zervakis, and ambassadors or representatives from 25 countries, at the ZENON Coordination Centre.

The objectives set by the Minister of Defence, as the responsible Minister for the overall coordination of the exercise, have been achieved, as the involved services during the implementation of the National Plans “ESTIA” and “TEFKROS” had the opportunity to evaluate their operational procedures, confronting the mass reception incidents of non-combatants and maintaining a high level of readiness to deal with similar incidents. 

On the other hand, on an international level, the successful implementation of the exercise highlighted the very important role that the Republic of Cyprus can play as a hub for humanitarian operations and a pillar of stability in case of a crisis in the wider Eastern Mediterranean region.  

The importance of the exercise and the readiness of the state agencies was recently evaluated in a real-life crisis, during the evacuation operations executed for non-combatants in Sudan, where a total of 2611 people from 28 countries were evacuated and repatriated through Cyprus.

Also read: NESTOR | Third pilot test-demonstration with the participation of the Hellenic Police as a coordinator completes successfully – VIDEO




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