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Greek Navy Personnel Hand in Resignations Over Red Sea Mission

Greek Navy personnel resign ahead of Red Sea mission.
Greek Navy personnel resign ahead of Red Sea mission. Credit: Israel Defense Forces. CC BY 2.0/flickr

Nearly twenty Greek Navy employees handed in resignations ahead of a mission to the Red Sea after finding out about the duration of the trip and their wages.

Greek military news site published an article earlier today on Friday, January 19th calling for navy recruits for a mission to the Red Sea aboard the frigate HYDRA.

The news site states the mission is in jeopardy as the Hellenic Navy (GEN) needs to “replenish” crew, which, the site adds, is not a “simple task.” According to the article, the GEN was looking for thirty executives but couldn’t find them. As soon as the daily allowance and duration of the mission became known, eighteen resignations were tendered by the frigate’s crew.

Late on Friday the Greek Navy issued a statement saying that the number of personnel who offered their resignations does not correspond to the number indicated in the article. It added that resignations are not linked to the unit’s participation in the “Prosperity Guardian” mission.

Greek Navy Involvement in Red Sea Conflict

The source said the mission in the Red Sea is expected to last for six months, and the daily wage for the crew of the frigate will be 86 euros net. It was also added that “no particular reason is needed for the giving of a resignation.”

The military news site makes it clear that one of the issues for the crew was “packing the frigate.”

The article continues: “All this was not unknown to the government and that is why its anxiety to send a warship to the Red Sea caused an impression. We remind you that the American Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin had not included Greece in the list of countries that would participate in the mission.”

In December, Greece announced it would be sending a frigate to the Red Sea to participate in the multinational force led by the United States to protect shipping following recent attacks by militias from Yemen.

The coalition, named Operation Guardian of Prosperity, currently has more than twenty members, ten of which are anonymously involved. Its aim is to protect shipping from Iranian-backed Houthi militias. Houthis have launched drone and missile attacks against ships in one of the world’s most vital waterways for global trade.

Houthi military parade at Sanaa, Sep. 21, 2022
Houthi military parade at Sanaa, Sep. 21, 2022. Credit: dietrich19. CC BY-SA 2.0/flickr

A Reuters article titled “Europe Split over US, UK Strikes on Houthis in Yemen,” claims Egypt and Saudi Arabia, despite being economically reliant on unhindered commercial shipping in the area, are absent from the listed participants. Moreover, Italy, France, and Spain have decided not to take part.

The Houthis, who control much of Yemen, say the shipping attacks are in response to Israel’s military campaign in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. They have said they will continue until Israel stops the offensive. Fears are growing that the broader world economy could be disrupted as commercial vessels are forced to reroute.

Because of attacks and the threat of future assaults, several of the world’s largest shipping firms, including Mediterranean Shipping Company and Maersk, have diverted vessels away. They have opted for a much longer route around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope and up the west side of the continent.

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