Title: Greece. White Paper for the Armed Forces - Chapter 6
CHAPTER 6: THE SOCIAL CONTRIBUTION OF THE ARMED FORCES
The armed forces contribute with personnel, equipment, and means to the prevention and relief of emergencies due to natural and technological causes: fires, floods, snow-falls, earthquakes, destruction of dams, lethal epidemics, etc.
The social work of the armed forces includes :
- Contribution to the country's reforestation effort;
- Cleaning areas from old shells and explosive devices;
- Transportation of humanitarian aid by military means;
- Blood donation;
- Availability, charge-free, of space for cultural events of societies and organisations;
- Availability of enlisted personnel for cultural productions of municipal radio/television broadcasting stations;
- Availability of museum material to interested bodies;
- Donation of withdrawn machinery to municipalities and villages;
- Availability of military buses for the transportation of students from remote mountainous villages for purposes of education, entertainment, excursions, etc;
- Availability and transportation of tent material and mobile housing to therapeutic communities and border areas.
During 1996-1997, the Armed Forces made available essential means and personnel in order to :
- face problems arising from floods;
- monitor and extinguish forest fires;
- promptly rescue citizens and patients in danger;
- face problems arising from earthquakes.
1. THE SOCIAL CONTRIBUTION OF THE ARMY
The Army's Programme
Associating the armed forces with regional communities
- Development of Army initiatives with a social character
- Support of local authorities programmes
- Co-operation with state and social bodies
- Strengthening the enlisted personnel's social conscience
- Exploiting the enlisted personnel's knowledge and expertise
- Contribution of the army to the development of the periphery, support of local societies of special geographic and social character (mountainous, sparsely populated, etc.)
Characteristic of programme:
Voluntary participation of the enlisted personnel, with no interference with their military training and pending obligations.
Area of implementation:
Thrace (Xanthi, Rodopi, Evros) and Aegean Sea islands (from 1.1.97)
Body of implementation:
4th Army Corps and H.M.C.I.I. (Higher Military Command of Interior and Islands)
- Feasibility of extending the programmes to other border areas.
Among the multiple activities in the army's social contribution are the following :
- Rural roads, 591 kms in total, were opened, maintained, and arranged.
- Engineering machinery was made available to agencies for earthworks and football-basketball fields and bridges were built.
- Scientists from the enlisted personnel were made available to Local Authorities to carry out various studies.
Provision of health - welfare services
- Mobile medical and dental units with doctors of various specialties were dispatched to mountainous, remote and problematic areas in order to examine the population. Since May 1995 a total of 10,097 people were examined.
- 2,000 school students from mountainous areas of Xanthi were micro-X-rayed. First aid was offered by unit infirmaries to residents of various areas; enlisted physicians were made available to social welfare institutions; water analysis on irrigation systems-rivers-sea was conducted in military laboratories.
- Helicopters were made available for the transportation of patients.
Cultural and social events
- Showing of movies on mountainous and remote villages
- Organising musical events in military clubs.
- Artistic-cultural events with enlisted artists.
- Day excursions for 2,600 school students with military buses to places of historical, archaeological, and tourist interest in Thrace.
Sports and education
- Availability of Candidate Reserve Officers and soldiers, who are professional physical training instructors, as coaches to sports clubs.
- Availability of military physicians and ambulances during school and club games.
- Running of schools for illiterate servicemen and for teaching of folk dances.
- Availability of enlisted teachers to teach Greek, English, and to organise seminars.
- Organisation of educational seminars to servicemen regarding occupational orientation and the use of computers.
- Availability of enlisted scientists to the Dimocretian University of Thrace to teach and organise seminars.
- Recording of the Pomak language, one of the few oral European languages, of its grammar and syntax, and publication of the Pomak-Hellenic. Dictionary as well as the Pomak-Hellenic Dialogues.
(see graphic 1)
Since the beginning of 1997, a campaign was launched in military units, all over the country to prevent and fight drug abuse.
The aims of this campaign are:
- No one in the army to be addicted to drugs.
- No cadre or enlisted to use drugs, inside or outside military installations.
- Occasional users (i.e. all those that have used drugs a few times, out of curiosity, imitation, show-off, etc.) to stop taking drugs, to be incorporated in the army, to be trained in their specialty, to complete their service, and to be re-incorporated in the society.
- Addicts to be identified as soon as possible in order to be sent to specialised hospitals for medical examination and treatment.
The Hellenic Army General Staff, in its attempt to keep servicemen away from drugs, and participating in the general effort of the state to deal with the problem, pronounced 1997 as the "Drugs Fighting Year", with a view to achieve the best possible results towards this objective.
For this reason, a co-ordinating committee, under the chairmanship of a Major General, has been established in order to monitor to the development of the planned activities, and all medical and scientific personnel of the army, relevant to this problem such as psychologists, psychiatrists, sociologists, social workers, has been activated.
The following activities are in progress :
- lectures in all training centres and units, presented by specialist psychiatrists, with parallel use of audio-visual aids.
- Seminars, meetings, cultural and sports events at each formation.
- Competition for the brightest idea for poster drawing or development of initiatives, in the framework of the objectives set by HAGS, regarding drug fighting.
- Special questionnaires and studies preparation.
The following activities have been planned :
- Printing of written material and production of video-tapes that will be provided to formations and units.
- Production of commercials that will be presented in the mass media, as well as a special entry in the Internet for the publicisation of the issue.
- Organisation of two Panhellenic meetings in which state and scientific bodies will participate.
- Study for the establishment of a detoxication centre.
2. THE SOCIAL CONTRIBUTION OF THE NAVY
The Navy supports the state in its effort to protect the well-being of the country's population. To this end, it has established a mechanism that encounters emergency situations caused by natural, technological, or other reasons at peace or war.
The social contribution of the Navy is of great importance. Among its recent activities one can distinguish:
The Navy, following a resolution for a humanitarian aid mission in Albania, transported a large quantity of food, drugs and clothing to Aghioi Saranta, on 13 March with the mine-sweeper ATALANTI and on 19 March 1997 with the mine-sweeper ATALANTI and the torpedo-boat CYCLON.
Moreover, on March 14-15, 1997, the Hellenic Navy executed a special operation for evacuation of Greek and foreign citizens from Albania as follows: the frigate AEGEON, the Missile Boat KAVALOUDIS, the Torpedo Boat LEALAPS and the Minesweeper KLEIO executed a fast, effective and safe operation and a great number (more than 300) of Greek citizens, citizens from other European countries, as well as from China, were taken from Dyrrachion.
Finally, in the context of providing assistance to Albania from the end of November 1997 the following activities of the Navy are in progress :
- A special committee inspected the naval bases at Dyrrachion and Aghioi Saranta.
- A special committee visited Aghioi Saranta to consider the capability/method of refloating five (5) sunk torpedo boats.
- Training of Underwater Demolition Teams (UTD).
- A quantity of paint, as well as paint for the ship's bottom were sent for maintenance of civilian ships; a sufficient quantity of clothing for the newly-enlisted seamen was also sent.
- The Beacon vessel KARAVOGIANNOS inspects the beacons network from the South-Western coast of Albania to Avlon and performs repairs-maintenance.
- A final decision is expected concerning the number of scholarships for the Hellenic Military Academies.
Emergencies / disasters
- During 1996, 2,553 persons were assigned to various fire fighting missions with the necessary fire extinguishing means (water-carriers and fire tenders) of a total cost of 47,5 million Drs.
- Reforestation of burned areas and planting of 15,500 small trees on a total area of approximately 1.077 square km.
- Assignment of underwater demolition groups for ammunition disposal in 47 occasions.
Health / welfare services
- Execution of evacuation missions of 51 patients and of search-rescue operations using helicopters.
- Allocation of 3 warships for search and rescue of shipwrecked persons, as well as of eight (8) underwater demolition groups for search of missing persons.
- Provision of treatment in nine (9) cases in the depressure cell.
- Organisation of nine (9) voluntary blood donations in groups and of 102 individual ones.
Contribution to the local authorities
- Construction and operation of nurseries at the naval ports of Salamis and Souda, Crete, serving both the military and civilian personnel of the Navy, as well as the adjacent municipalities.
- Use of the port facilities of the Navy located at Sigri, Lesvos, by the car ferries of the Lesvos shipping company for the commercial and economic development of Western Lesvos.
- Allotment to the National Tourist Organisation of a lighthouse at Kranae, Gyhteion for establishment of the Mani Naval Museum.
- Return of the security zone of the lighthouse located at Kaki Kefali, Chalkis, to the municipality of Chalkis for the creation of a recreation grove.
- Allotment of an area of 50,000 square metres from the naval port of Nea Michaniona for the installation of a biological cleaning facility which will serve the wider area of Thessaloniki.
- Acceleration of the necessary infrastructure works so that the port facilities of the Advanced Naval Base at Paleokastritsa can serve the fishing boats of the area.
- Studies preparation for the construction of port facilities at Psara and Kardamila, Chios.
- Execution of 25 water-supply projects on waterless islands.
Contribution to the cultural development
- Acceleration of the suitable infrastructure works of the central building of the Poros Training Centre, which, following efforts of the Navy, was characterised by the Ministry of Culture as a Heritage Building in order to receive a face-lift and become a pole of attraction for the public.
- Completion of the study for the shelter of the trireme "Olympias" and acceleration of its building to be opened the public.
- Reconstructure of the lighthouse Tourlitis, at Andros, based on the patterns of the old ruined one, for safer access of ships at the port of Chora, Andros.
- Organisation of twenty-four (24) charitable activities, mainly through provision of instruction materials to schools, municipalities and organisations, and provision of 36 warships and 5 vehicles for various social activities.
- Organisation of the "Naval Week" from June 30 to July 6, with celebrations which had Komotini as their centre and covered all Greece.
- Allotment of 35 war vessels for local insular anniversaries and religious celebrations and of 195 detachments for municipal activities.
- Construction of 37 church bells, out of which 27 in churches in Albania.
- Participation in 27 football, sailing and rowing games.
The Navy, being especially sensitive in problems concerning drug abuse, has organised the Preventive Psychological Office at the Naval Training Command for prevention and anti-drug policy purposes and it has proceeded in manning this office.
In parallel, there are the properly manned Personnel Welfare Offices at the Admiralty and the Poros Training Centre, where the drugs problem and, especially, that of drugs prevention are of top priority.
3. THE SOCIAL CONTRIBUTION OF THE AIR FORCE
In combination with its operational mission and in the framework of its social mission, the Air Force performs air evacuations of persons in need of urgent transportation using its transport aircraft and helicopters.
The Air Force thus contributes to the general effort of the state to protect and provide confidence and security to the population, showing that the Armed Forces are on their side when needed and provide the best assistance possible.
The Air Force performed in 1996 and 1997 a series of air evacuation missions with C-130 aircraft and helicopters from the mainland and insular Greece for 530 patients.
The Air Force takes over relief missions for persons at risk, due to various reasons, as assigned to it by the Search - Rescue Co-ordination Centre. For this reason, it has deployed at eight (8) suitably selected sites, search and rescue aircraft and helicopters, which, during 1996 and 1997, executed a great number of missions.
AIR EVACUATION MISSIONS
SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATIONS
Public Agencies Air Service Unit
The mission of the Public Agencies Air Service Unit, established by HAFGS, is to provide aircraft, helicopters and personnel for aerial activities of the Ministry of Agriculture. It constitutes a significant contribution of the Armed Forces in fighting various plant diseases and, with direct positive effects in the increase of production and the protection of forests. The Public Agencies Air Service Unit assists in forest fire extinguishing. During 1996 and 1997 the Public Agencies Air Service Unit sprayed a significant acreage. At the same time, using the same aircraft, PZL type, it contributed to forest fire extinguishing.
1996 FOREST FIRE FIGHTING MISSIONS
1996 AERIAL SPAYING MISSIONS
In order to help spread out the athletic spirit, track and field competitions are annually organised between Air Force units so are football, basketball and volleyball internal championships.
Additionally, the Air Force successfully participates each year with a number of teams, with over 300 athletes, in sports events, such as track and field sports, shooting, skiing, judo, karate, tae kwon do, weight lifting, sailing, water polo, swimming, handball, wrestling, football, basketball, volleyball and cycling, whose supervision, planning and implementation are undertaken by the Supreme Sports Council of the Armed and Security Forces.
Many students of the Air Force Academy, the Air Force Technical NCO School and the Administrative NCO School participate in a large number of events.
Stressing the importance of education and prevention against drug use, the Air Force, invited the "PEGASUS" Information Mobile Unit of the Therapeutic Centre for Addicted Persons, to visit its units, in order to provide information to the airmen. Furthermore, courses on preventing drug abuse are organised in the 251 Air Force General Hospital and the Air Medicine Training Centre for all career and enlisted physicians to be assigned in Air Force units afterwards, aiming at offering them proper information on this matter, thus allowing them to inform the enlisted personnel on this major problem, through regular monthly lectures.
4. ARMY MAPPING / GEOGRAPHICAL SERVICE
The Army Mapping/Geographical Service provides Public Services and civilians with maps, diagrams, aerial photographs, landmark co-ordinates, barometric indicators, geomagnetic data, that constitute the foundation of the study and construction of all major engineering works of the country. Moreover it undertakes geodetic, topographic, cadastral and aerial photography works for the wider public sector.
Recently, following the large scale burn-down of the Seih-Sou forest/Thessaloniki, the Army Mapping/Geographical Service took photos of the broader area, and compiled a coloured photomosaic of the entire burned area, which clearly depicts the extent of the destruction. It is now working on the production of an orthophoto map of the destructed area, that is to be used by the Ministry of Agriculture for reforestation purposes.
5. THE HYDROGRAPHIC SERVICE AND THE LIGHTHOUSE SERVICE OF THE NAVY
The mission of the Hydrographic Service is to pro-vide information to navigators, public services and civilians by means of maps and other data. The Navy Hydrographic Service is equipped with specially built hydrographic - oceanographic ships, in order to conduct scientific oceanographic research.
For the past year, the following activities of the Hydrographic Service were recorded:
- Issue of 1567 notices to navigators.
- Transmission to Spain of 100 international notices, concerning international maritime lines within the Hellenic maritime territory.
- Daily transmission of six (6) regular and several special bulletins via the official NAVTEX stations.
- Issue of three hundred and eighteen (318) notices for updating purposes of maps and naval publications.
- Completion of the 'Beacon List' project.
- Provision, gratis, of 6,856 Hellenic edition maps to in-country and abroad services.
- Co-operation with:
- The National Technical University (NTU) of Athens/Faculty of Ship Building, concerning development of project "AMPHITRITE".
- The Institute of Technological and Metallurgical Research and the Hellenic Centre of Underwater Research for the conduct of oceanographic sailing.
- The Hellenic Television Network for the transmission of notices to navigators and many other organisations.
- Maintenance of twelve floating markers and tidometers operating in respective ports and installation of two more tidometers in the Ports of Rhodes and Patras.
For carrying out the abovementioned works, all four ships of the Hydrographic Service spent a total of 495 days at high seas.
The Lighthouse Service of the Hellenic Navy General Staff is responsible for the operation and maintenance of beacons, lighthouses, buoys, indication signals and floating markers, as well as for the publication of relevant notices, in order to provide support to navigators.
Navy Beacon Ships are made available to the Lighthouse Service, in order to help accomplish its mission.
For 1996, the following activities of the Lighthouse Service were recorded, apart from any scheduled maintenance of the national beacon network:
- Installation of 20 new beacons in various areas of Greece.
- 12 modifications of beacon networks either with regard to their operation or their characteristics.
- One hundred and sixty nine beacon damage repairs all over Greece.
- The ships of the Lighthouse Service sailed for a total of 10,637 miles, which is translated to 1,538 hours (=200 days) of maritime service.
6. THE NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE
The main mission of the National Meteorological Service is the support, from a meteorological point of view, of the national defence, the national economy and the society, in general. The National Meteorological Service represents our country in three international organisations:
- The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), established in 1947, based in Geneva. Among its responsibilities is the planning, world-widely, of the Weather Observation Meteorological System.
- The ECMWF (a European Organisation, established in 1973). Its responsibility is the research and development of arithmetic methods for forecasts of medium time scale by using atmospheric models, and for the allocation of the results of the models in real time to the member countries.
- The EUMETSAT (a European Organisation, established in 1986). Its responsibility is the development and operational exploitation of meteorological satellite systems. Among the National Meteorological Service's tasks are the weather forecasts of any nature, specific weather forecasts for air and sea, navigation and farmers, as well as the meteorological conditions of atmospheric pollution in Athens.
In order to accomplish its mission, the National Meteorological Service operates a net of meteorological stations throughout the country. It has at its disposal decentralised meteorological centres, meteorological offices in airports, and offices for meteorological briefings at air and sea ports.
The National Meteorological Service is manned with military and civilian personnel of high professional qualifications; its technological infrastructure includes powerful mainframes and workstations, a digital satellite station for receiving meteorological satellite data, as well as meteorological radars.
7. THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE ARMED FORCES TO SPORTS
Supreme Sports Council Of The Armed And Security Forces
Established in 1947, the Supreme Sports Council of the Armed and Security Forces aims at the organisation and promotion of Physical Activity and Sports in the Armed and Security Forces of the country.
The mission of the Council is:
- Establishment of the general outlines for the promotion of military sports.
- Promotion of research in the fields of physical activity and sports.
- Realisation of training courses, lectures, analyses of technical and athletic issues.
- Encouragement in terms of development of friendship and fellowship among the different services of the Armed Forces.
- Handling of issues concerning publicity, organisation, preparation and conduct of athletic events.
Athletic Contests And Championships Of The Armed And Security Forces
- A number of athletic events for the Higher Military Academies and the NCO Schools, as well as a number of championships for the General Staffs and the Security Forces Headquarters, are scheduled and carried out each year by the Council.
- In 1996, the Council scheduled and conducted thirty three (33) athletic events, covering nearly the whole range of Olympic sports. More specifically:
- 8 events for the Military Academies.
- 5 events for the Armed Forces NCO Schools.
- 20 events for the Armed and Security Forces.
- The Armed Forces and the Security Forces National teams participated in four (4) World and two (2) Regional European Champion-ships of the CISM.
- The national teams participated in fifteen (15) sports events in the form of friendly meetings with local teams, thus aiming at the promotion of sports, mainly in border areas, as well as for social and fund-raising reasons.
- In 1997 the Council scheduled and proceeded with carrying out of thirty six (36) athletic events. More specifically:
- Eight (8) events for the Military Academies
- Six (6) for the Armed Forces NCO Schools
- Twenty two (22) for the Armed and the Security Forces.
- In an effort to promote and attract people in the mass athleticism in the periphery of the country, the Council organised athletic events for new athletes in the areas hosting its championships.
- The Armed Forces and Security Forces teams participated in seventeen (17) athletic events for fund-raising and social purposes.
- Armed and Security Forces national teams participated in the CISM International Championships of Football, Field Race, Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Wrestling and in the European Weight Lifting Championship. These participations were great successes, giving our country a worldwide glamour.
- Our national team conquered the first place in the CISM Football World Championship, held in Tehran (July 21 to August 7).