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NATO Firefighting Aircraft Arrive in Greece to Fight Wildfires

NATO wildfires Greece
NATO has deployed firefighting aircraft and helicopters in Greece. Credit: NATO/Allied Air Command

NATO sent firefighting aircraft and helicopters to Greece to help the country battle wildfires, the alliance said on Friday.

The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) said it is supporting Greece’s firefighting efforts for the eleventh consecutive year.

“Upon request of the Greece authorities, NSPA has deployed a record number of aircraft to 20 strategic locations within Greek territory,” it noted on Twitter.

NATO integrates capabilities to battle wildfires

Meanwhile, the NATO Air Command said that alliance air and armed forces are integrating their capabilities to extinguish wildfires raging in countries across the allied territory, in a demonstration of NATO solidarity.

“Allied air forces and armed forces are integrating their capabilities and equipment, assisting national efforts to extinguish wildfires raging in many countries [, and] helping protect populations and contain [damage],” it says in an announcement.

It notes that climate change has created natural disasters in countries worldwide from floods to catastrophic wildfires.

“As the affected nations are mustering all their civilian emergency services to fight fires around the globe, the military makes available their unique equipment both on the ground and in the air to support the national firefighting efforts,” it was said.

“Using planes and helicopters allows the firefighting crews to respond quicker in hard-to-reach areas with extinguishing material, which otherwise would take longer with traditional firetrucks,” the Allied Air Command says.

“The Allied air forces—together with the civilian and military emergency services—are doing their best to help protect the populations put in danger by the widespread fires that have been impacting virtually all countries over the last weeks,” said Lieutenant Colonel Panagiotis Filis, a career pilot of CL-215 firefighting aircraft with the Hellenic Air Force and now a member of Allied Air Command.

“Aerial firefighting missions are among the most complex in aviation, as crews have to deal with the four Classic elements of Water, Earth, Fire and Air,” he added. “We are grateful that you help keep us all safe.”

Allies help each other with their specially adapted aircraft, whether it is concerted firefighting action or one nation helping put out fires in another. All efforts emphasize the close coordination of both civilian and military measures.

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