Hundreds of US soldiers are expected to arrive this week in Alexandroupolis, Greece in order to facilitate the shipment of American and NATO weapons and personnel to Central and Eastern Europe, a local news website reported on Sunday.
According to evros-news, at least 200 US military personnel are expected this week with their number reaching close to 400 in the following weeks.
They will all be busy with the transport of the military material, which will gradually arrive at the port of Alexandroupolis by transport ships, starting on Saturday.
Hardware expected to arrive at the port include tanks, armored vehicles and helicopters destined for NATO bases in Central and Eastern Europe.
The US personnel will be settled in the Giannoulis military base as provided for in the Greek-American Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA). The base has been configured for their accommodation throughout the operation of transporting the material.
This is expected to last until the summer, which means that a large number of military and civilian employees of the US armed forces will permanently reside in Alexandroupolis.
Earlier in February, US Assistant Secretary of Defense for international security affairs, Celeste Wallander, visited the northern city of Greece where she was briefed about the port’s role in facilitating the shipment of American and NATO weapons and personnel to Central and Eastern Europe.
Wallander was accompanying US Secretary of State Antony Blinken who was in Athens on Monday to meet with the country’s leadership and open the 4th Greece-US Strategic Dialogue with Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias.
Alexandroupolis, Greece, a strategic hub for the US and NATO
Alexandroupolis has been elevated to a strategic hub for US and NATO forces in SE Europe. It also plays a vital role in the military presence of the US in Greece.
Last week Bob Menendez, Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, praised the significance of Alexandroupolis, a city that “serves as a major US military and NATO defense hub, and is now transforming into an energy hub, with a new liquefied natural gas facility.”
Speaking during a debate in Parliament on the MDCA signed between Greece and the United States, Dendias described the use of the northern Greek port by the American military as “one of the most important elements of the agreement.”
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