The U.S. Army provides capabilities to allies and partners which support regional and global operations, enable territorial defense and enhance interoperability and readiness. This was recently demonstrated when Greece received an initial 44 M117 Guardian Armored Safety Vehicles, the first of a two-part Foreign Military Sales case that will ultimately see 1,200 vehicles delivered. The vehicles are Excess Defense Articles and the Army uses FMS to facilitate divesture, while simultaneously building partner capacity. The Hellenic Armed Forces receive the vehicles for essentially the transportation costs, and with the first vehicles coming from within Europe, transportations costs will be much less than for the remaining vehicles that will ship from Sierra Army Depot in Herlong, California. The vehicles arriving from Germany are also in operational condition since storage at another location was not needed.
“The 21st Theater Sustainment Command (in Germany) put the vehicles on a train and sent them to the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Greece where the transfer was initiated by the Office of Defense Cooperation,” Marcus Mackey, USASAC G-3 mission support for EDA, said.
“Such a transfer of military vehicles is a big project. It requires the sound cooperation and combined performance of both partners, Hellenic and U.S. Army. Subject matter experts are involved and working hard as a team to conduct this task successfully. The reuse of this property constitutes at the same time a challenge and an example of our enhanced cooperation, in order to make this equipment operationally capable to achieve our common objectives and strengthen our bonds,” Lt. Col. Athanasios Natsios, security assistance liaison officer (Greece) assigned to USASAC, said.
“I am convinced that the M1117 Security Armored Vehicles will breathe new life into the operational design of our Army formations, enabling them to carry out a wide range of missions. The reuse of this property constitutes at the same time a challenge and an example of our enhanced cooperation, in order to make this equipment operationally capable to achieve our common objectives and strengthen our bonds. It is another solid proof of the thriving strategic relationship between Greece and the U.S and cooperation between the Greek and American armed forces. We believe that the best is yet to come and strategic cooperation is in an excellent state at the moment but there is more to do and we are all committed to doing more,” Greece Minister of Defense Nikos Panagiotopoulos said.
The geopolitical environment of Greece and the threats it faces in the region has prompted political and military leadership to seek the acquisition of new weapons systems to support and strengthen the country’s international alliances. For the U.S., transferring the vehicles directly from the 21st Theater Sustainment Command immediately divests the unit of older vehicles and facilitates modernization. Providing a U.S. ally with quality, reliable equipment enhances interoperability and readiness. The M1117 vehicles will complement existing weapons systems, providing new capabilities to the Greek Army. Vehicles declared EDA are no longer part of the Army’s inventory. The Security Assistance Command executes Army FMS. By receiving the first 44 M1117 ASVs from Germany, both the U.S. and Greek armies benefit in numerous ways.