Monday, June 1, 2009

NATO joint administration of Aegean airspace

An interesting article titled "NATO joint administration of Aegean" written by Kyras Adam was published in the Greek daily, Eleftherotypia last week. The article reports on the recent agreement made between the Defence Chiefs of Greece and Turkey regarding the new NATO structure for the Aegean.

Essentially, the agreement stipulates the closure of the NATO centre at Eski Sechir, Turkey (6 CAOC) and transfer of responsibility to the corresponding NATO centre at Larissa, Greece (7 CAOC). The NATO centre at Larissa will periodically have a NATO commander from Turkey. Previously, the commander was exclusively Greek. The article continues:

The current Greek government, according to existing information, have long insisted that Turkey shut down Eski Sechir and for Greece to formalize air control (for the purposes of NATO) of Bulgarian, Albanian and FYROM airspace. Due to technical difficulties (related to its radar range) Turkey could not satisfy this role on behalf of NATO. However, the article claims that Athens has given in return the activation of a new NATO structure for the Aegean, which opens the door for NATO joint administration of the Aegean airspace - at least the period during when a Turkish commander controls the NATO centre at Larissa. The article claims the Turkish commander can reasonably do everything he can to create and maximize problems between Greece and NATO when Greek fighter aircraft intercept Turkish fighter jets in the Aegean.

In other words, the Turkish commander in undertaking his duties can "prohibit", or can denounce Greece, to NATO, for the use of Greek aircraft assigned to NATO for the interception of Turkish fighter aircraft (which have also been allocated to NATO) in the airspace of the Aegean.

Greece has just given away another piece of its sovereignty in order to conduct policing on behalf NATO.

Source: Eleftherotypia (Kyras Adam), Antipodes

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