Defence Minister Christofos Fokaides has said that a large-scale aeronautical multinational exercise, code-named “NEMESIS – 2016”, reflects a new upgraded defence policy which aims at highlighting Cyprus’ role in the nerighbourhood as a factor of stability.
The drill takes place today for the third consecutive year, within the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus, he noted, adding that there is increased participation of important states such as the US, France, the UK, Greece and Egypt. This year, he said, ICAO`s Task Force on search and rescue issues is also participating in the exercise, with representatives from 15 countries.
In statements to the press on the occasion of the exercise, Fokaides noted that the fact that European conferences on search and rescue issues take place in Cyprus highlights the important work done by the competent Coordination Centre operating on the island and promotes Cyprus as a modern country that undertakes such initiatives.
NEMESIS 2016 is conducted in parallel with the second EUROSAR Task Force Meeting held at the Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) Larnaca between the 11th and 14th of October with the participation of representatives from 15 countries and 4 International Organizations.
Responding to a question, the Minister said that the aim is for Cyprus to host European conferences when exercises such as NEMESIS and ARGONAFTIS take place here.
Fokaides noted that the fact that Cyprus has been chosen by a European organisation to host a conference on issues related to this exercise acknowledges the important work being done.
The exercise is held with the participation of SAR Units and Personnel from Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, the United Kingdom and the United States of America as well as the M/V «ALEXANDRIA» of Petronav from the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and the support vessels of EDT Offshore.
The JRCC will be coordinating the exercise in collaboration with the respective agencies from the Republic of Cyprus and the participating nations.
The main objective of the aeronautical exercise is to further develop the effective cooperation and coordination of JRCC Larnaca and respective agencies of the Republic of Cyprus with neighboring and friendly States on the prompt response on emergency situations on board merchant vessels and oil/gas platforms as well as other humanitarian operations in the Eastern Mediterranean region
The exercise scenario includes boarding operations by navy vessels and Special Forces, counter-terrorism operations on an oil/gas platform by the Cyprus Police QRF, mass rescue operations following a maritime accident by naval and air units of Cyprus and friendly nations and counter pollution operations within the area of responsibility of the Republic of Cyprus by the Departments of Fisheries and Merchant Shipping and the participation of a specialized ship from the European Maritime Safety Agency.
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY