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Wide range of responsibilities of the Police Aviation Unit – VIDEO
Defence Redefined
Published on 22/02/2021 at 11:21

The duties and responsibilities of the Cyprus Police Aviation Unit (CPAU) range from the escort of the President of the Republic, to the evacuation of the injured, the rescue of people and the extinguishing of fires, the Chief of the Unit, Christodoulos Kontos, told CNA.

Mr. Kontos explained that “the Unit has a wide range of tasks and responsibilities, including surveillance of the coast of the Republic of Cyprus, conducting crime-related patrols, while in cooperation with other Services, we aim to prevent, suppress and investigate crime, particularly drug trafficking, illegal immigration and terrorism.”

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He continued: “Patrols are carried out with the aim of supervising and monitoring the highways and main roads of Cyprus. Patrols are also carried out to locate and rescue lives and property when there are natural disasters or other serious accidents, always with the aim of saving lives and providing assistance to the public.”

He added that “a necessary component in the success of CPAU missions is the fruitful cooperation between the various Police Departments and other competent services regarding the operations we carry out.”

Answering a relevant question, Mr. Kontos said that “quite often the helicopters of the Unit attempt to extinguish fires, while they are used to evacuate seriously ill or injured people and transport them to medical centers in Cyprus, or even abroad.”

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He also added, “the Unit is used to escort the President of the Republic and other foreign officials, missions assigned to the Unit under the Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) and any other instructions and guidelines given by the Chief or Assistant Chief of the Police.”

Regarding the combat readiness of the members of CPAU, the Chief of the Unit said that “in order for the Unit to be successful in its missions, there must be a continuous operational readiness and at the same time an immediate response.” These, he said, “are achieved through the continuous training and maintenance of the Unit members’ discipline at high levels and the good maintenance of the helicopters.”

He added that “we are able to provide training and maintenance of our helicopters and to respond immediately.” In fact, he noted, “our recent cooperation with the JRCC – an initiative of the latter – so as to have a nurse on a permanent basis in our Unit has contributed to this.”

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According to Mr. Kontos, “CPAU still has a group of specially-trained divers, who search the sea in order to locate people or property and save lives. The Unit also conducts missions assigned by the Joint Rescue Coordination Center and transfers government officials on special operation-related missions.”

Asked to indicate which operations stand out from the actions of CPAU, the Chief said that “in the last two years the Unit has been active in 52 operations. The ones that stand out are the one in August 2020 when CPAU participated in a transport operation of Emergency Response Mobilized Unit (MMAD) and Disaster Response Special Unit (DRSU) personnel as well as police dogs in Lebanon, in order to assist in the efforts to find trapped people after the deadly explosion.”

He also noted that “in January 2020, the Unit’s helicopter transported a patient from a hydrocarbon extraction platform to a hospital of the Republic under adverse weather conditions, while the crew members were honored by the companies and the JRRC.” Another case, he said, “was in February 2019 when, following a coordinated operation, two helicopters of the Unit managed to locate and rescue a group of 17 scouts in Troodos.”

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He also said that “at the same time the helicopter of the Unit transported a woman who had been injured after falling into a gorge in Troodos to a hospital.”

“It is noted that CPAU helicopters participate every year in firefighting operations both in Cyprus and in neighboring countries such as Israel and Lebanon,” he added.

Christodoulos Kontos also stated that “a necessary component in the success of the CPAU missions is the fruitful cooperation between the Police Departments and other competent services regarding the operations that will be conducted by the Unit.” At any time, he added, “pilots, rescuers and helicopters are in full operational readiness.”

This, he noted, “is achieved through continuous training, the maintenance of the personnel’s discipline at high levels, the good maintenance of aircraft and the participation in various readiness exercises.”

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