Greece kicks off annual international drill Ariadne 2017

Warships from eight nations arrived in Greece for the annual exercise Ariadne which will be taking place from March 31 to April 7.

In addition to ships, naval officers from some ten countries will be attending the exercise in the Ionian Sea in the Gulf of Patras.

NATO ships from the Standing Mine Countermeasures Group crossed the Corinth Canal on Thursday to participate in the exercise. The group is currently composed of Polish flagship ORP K.A. Czernicki, Spanish ESPS Duero, German FGS Rottweil and Turkish TCG Alanya.

Another NATO unit that will take part in the exercise is the scientific research ship ITS NRV Alliance used by the Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation. The 93-meter ship is owned by NATO and operated by the Italian Navy.

Apart from NATO units, Ariadne 2017 will host the Egyptian Navy minehunter Al Seddiq, French Navy Éridan class minehunter FS Lyre, Spanish Segura-class minehunter ESPS Tajo and the Romanian RS Axente.

The Hellenic Navy will be represented by Elli-class frigate HS Navarinon with its embarked helicopter, minehunters HS Evropi, HS Kallisto and HS Kalypso, and gunboat HS Polemistis.

The exercise will also be observed by naval officers from Bulgaria, United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

Exercise Ariadne focuses mainly on mine warfare and anti-air defense and is aimed at enhancing cooperation and improving the mutual training and interoperability among participating units and staffs during mine counter measures operations.

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