Athens—Lt. General Mark Schwartz, the Commander of Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR), recently visited Greece.

During his brief visit, Lt. Gen. Schwartz met with the Greek Joint Chief of Staff, Admiral Evagelos Apostolakis, and discussed ways on how to further improve the cooperation and good relations between the two countries and their Special Operations Forces (SOF).

To achieve this, the two men agreed to expand intelligence sharing, joint exercises, personnel exchange opportunities, and technological and material support.

Moreover, Admiral Apostolakis ensured Lt. Gen. Schwartz Greece’s intent to maintain the NATO budget and skill set requirements set for SOF units.

Additionally, the Greek JCS recommended the utilization of Greece’s naval bases and infrastructure for future joint readiness exercises.

Lt. Gen. Schwartz concluded his stay with a visit to the Greek Special Forces Training Center in Megalo Peuko.

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There, he inspected the Greek commandos of ZMAK, an all-volunteer professional amphibious raider unit (SOFREP’s own Vasilis Chronopoulos is a veteran of the unit), ETA, an all-volunteer professional unit mirrored to the SAS and specializing in HALO/HAHO and Long-Range Reconnaissance Patrols (LRRP), and MYK, the Greek navy’s equivalent of Navy SEALs.

Lt. Gen. Schwartz inspecting Greek SOF equipment in Megalo Peuko (Geetha.mil.gr).

Greek SOF often hosts their U.S. counterparts in Greece.  Special Forces ODAs from the 10th Special Forces Group, PJs and CCTs from the 321st Special Tactics Squadron, and Navy Seals are frequent participants in joint exercises.

Greek SOF traces their origins back to the Sacred Company of World War Two.  More recently, they underwent a reorganization to the image of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) with the creation of 13th Special Operations Command.

 

Featured image courtesy of  Greek Military