Strengthening the Greek Navy is essential

Warships are seen during the Niriis 2022 exercise between Greek, US and Israeli forces in the wider perimeter of Crete and south of the Peloponnese from November 5 to 13. [Mnistry of Defense/Via InTime News]

Modernization of the fleet’s technical infrastructure and the placement of highly qualified technicians, i.e. high salaries, are essential.

We recently celebrated Armed Forces Day and will soon celebrate the Greek Navy on its own day. Both celebrations fill us with national pride and reverence for our armed forces, which stand as strong defenders of our national interests and the honor and dignity of our nation.

Certain thoughts come to mind when thinking about the Greek Navy in particular.

In the medium to long term, the new contracts for the acquisition of ships and equipment will significantly strengthen not only the number of ships, but also its materials, primarily by providing capabilities and strategic prospects that the fleet lacks. Very important. today.

However, in the short term, the Hellenic Navy will become stronger, more reliable, more effective, and able to remain on duty for longer periods if necessary, as there are challenges and problems that require immediate resolution. At the same time, being on more fronts than the current geopolitical situation in the Eastern Mediterranean requires.

The problem is obvious, everyone knows it, and it’s relatively easy to fix compared to the cost and effort required to acquire new expensive units such as frigates and corvettes.

Increasing the fleet’s operational budget is a necessary and non-negotiable move. Anyone who manages a ship knows that without repairs, spare parts, maintenance, and materials, it is impossible to maintain seaworthiness or operational combat capability. It’s trivial, less than tens of millions of euros per year, and a quick and easy decision for the government.

At least 10 very old and inoperable Navy ships should be taken out of service. Because their sole use is to provide a “comfortable” position in naval customer assignments. It really saddens me to visit the Salamis Naval Base and see a ship that reminds me of an abandoned ship.

Anyone who manages a ship knows that without repairs, spare parts, maintenance and materials it is impossible to maintain seaworthiness or operational combat capability.

However, in the medium to long term, these are the most important issues.

The Hellenic Navy continues to lose valuable and qualified technical officers who, after gaining military training and experience, have resigned in search of higher salaries and better career prospects. (and non-commissioned officers), and two entire Naval Academy graduation classes have been lost in this fashion in recent years.

As a result, the insurmountable problem of manning ships immediately, not to mention what happens when new frigates and corvettes that require so many highly trained crews join the fleet. So how do we staff new ships when electrical engineers, electrical engineers and so many other professionals are constantly leaving and leaving the Navy? ?

Directly related to the above issues is the need for an immediate strengthening of all technical infrastructure of the fleet. As such, the Navy will soon arrive with varying levels of technical support when it comes to complete maintenance and repairs. Immediate reinforcement of technical personnel with the necessary qualifications is required (and no one will join the Hellenic Navy when comparable remuneration or significantly higher paying jobs become available in the shipping market). ). level maintenance.

All of the above seems simple, but the political decisions to achieve it must be made immediately. All relevant authorities agree that, as is well-established in all theories of military strategy, strong defenses are not ensured solely by new systems, but primarily to issues of training, infrastructure, support and logistics. must be understood to be ensured by the consistent and constant effort and care of

A very welcome step in this direction is the announcement of a government initiative to adjust the long-unresolved military wages. Improvements should target those working on the front lines, such as pilots, active-duty Navy crew members, and other similar roles.

All Greeks believe that the Greek Navy (which has arguably become the most important of the three branches of the armed forces due to the changing geopolitical environment of the Mediterranean) is very reliable, with great responsibility and efficiency in materiel and personnel. This will provide reassurance not only to our defense, but to the country’s political leadership, and to our near-term and long-term political and strategic planning. It is the best guarantee to give you confidence.

Panos Lascaridis is President of the Aikaterini Lascaridis Foundation. Strengthening the Greek Navy is essential

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