• Short Summary

    Greek air, naval and land forces have ended a major three-day combat exercise on the Turkish border.

  • Description

    Greek air, naval and land forces have ended a major three-day combat exercise on the Turkish border. The manoeuvres, code-named Philippos 77, involving a hundred thousand men, were carried out against a background of continuous tension with Turkey over disputed Aegean sea rights.

    SYNOPSIS: Military attaches from thirty eastern and western powers joined Greek officials to watch a major parade at the end of the manoeuvres, which took place in conjunction with a naval exercise in the Aegean sea itself.

    Greek Defence Minister Evanghelos Averoff reviewed the parade. The exercise was officially described as 'without precedent', and came only days after Greek Co-Ordination minister Panayiotis Papaligouras publicly warned Turkey to 'think twice' in the Aegean.

    Apart from military observers from fellow North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members, Greece invited attaches from NATO's eastern European counterpart, the Warsaw pact. Other observers included Turkey - a member of NATO - and the People's Republic of China. In the parade were the Greek army's latest tanks.

    Mr. Averoff himself issued a stern warning to Turkey only last month (August). Accompanied by chiefs of the armed forces staffs, the Defence Minister in the Aegean. He pronounced himself satisfied with them, and said that any attempt to invade Greek territory would be bitterly regretted by the aggressor.

    Last week's combined exercises were ordered, according to the Greek government, to test the ability of the three branches of the armed forces to co-operate in combat, and to maintain the navy in a state of readiness.

    During the manoeuvres a landing exercise was carried out by marine and commando units in simulated combat conditions, with air and naval support. The Air Force used live rocket and machine-gun fire, and the attacking units were opposed by submarines, warships, and air counter-attacks.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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