The Greek Ministry of Defence is strengthening the Navy forces patrolling in the Aegean, but also in the sea area between Rhodes and Kastelorizo, on the occasion of the large Turkish exercise “Blue Homeland” (Mavi Vatan) which starts today at 7 p.m. and ends in March in the Aegean and Southeastern Mediterranean.
In this context, a large number of ships in the fleet have been ordered to sail from the Salamis Naval Base to the areas where the Turkish naval forces are to be deployed, in order to discreetly monitor their activity.
The Greek Pentagon is concerned whether and to what extent Ankara may use the exercise to once again increase tensions in Greek-Turkish relations, while the Cesme research ship is still sailing in the central Aegean, conducting naval research.
Almost the entire Turkish fleet, a large number of fighter and unmanned aircraft, as well as Special Forces units, are going to participate in the “Blue Homeland”. More specifically, according to an announcement by the Turkish Ministry of Defence, the exercise will involve 87 ships of the Turkish Navy and Coast Guard, 12 helicopters, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) as well as amphibious and submarine forces. The Air Force will participate with 27 F-16s, F-4 Phantoms, Naval Cooperation Aircraft, and flying radars.