US and Hellenic coast guards ink MoU to expand joint cooperation

The US Coast Guard and Hellenic Coast Guard have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to expand joint cooperation in areas concerning safety and protection.

As explained, the areas of cooperation include maritime safety, maritime operations, maritime security, fisheries enforcement, marine environmental protection, and training. The US Embassy in Athens will partner with the US Coast Guard in implementing the MoU.

This MoU is a step forward in the already close relationship between the two coast guards and further solidifies the partnership between the United States and Greece, according to the partners. It seeks to promote common goals and strengthen bilateral cooperation related to safe navigation, the safety of lives at sea and environmental protection, and other issues of common interest within respective authorities, policies, and international obligations framework. 

What is more, it will establish clear goals, parameters, and metrics for exchanging information, best practices, services, and technologies in these areas and also facilitate the exchange of experts and technical visits.

“I want to take this opportunity to re-affirm the strong friendship between our coast guards and to thank you for your tremendous hospitality during my visit to Athens,” said Commander of US Coast Guard Atlantic Area Vice Adm. Steven Poulin. “The U.S. Coast Guard and the Hellenic Coast Guard relationship is an extension of the friendship between our two nations dating back 200 years.” 

In his remarks at the signing ceremony, US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt commented: “The cooperation between our two countries helps to reinforce the credibility and capabilities of our Alliance in a neighborhood that is not always friendly, and in a region where Greece has come to be seen by all as a pillar of stability, a reliable NATO Ally, a net provider of security, and a country which is part of the solution to building the kind of stable, democratic region that our citizens want and deserve.”

The agreement comes in the wake of the recent announcements concerning US-Greece cooperation on naval fleet expansion and modernization. Recently, the US has approved a possible sale of four MMSC ships and associated equipment to Greece, as well as the modernization of Hydra-class frigates.

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Photo: Illustration; USCGC Bertholf (WMSL 750), left, moves in formation with the Philippine Coast Guard vessels Batangas, center, and Kalanggaman during the exercise. Photo: US Coast Guard