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 You are in: Under Secretary for Management > Bureau of Diplomatic Security > News from the Bureau of Diplomatic Security > Bureau of Diplomatic Security: Press Releases > 2004

U.S. Donates Patrol Boats to Hellenic Coast Guard for 2004 Olympics

U.S. Embassy
Athens, Greece

June 26, 2004

ATHENS  – In support of the Government of Greece's security efforts for the 2004 Athens Olympics, the U.S. Government has donated three state-of-the-art boats to the Hellenic Coast Guard. The boats, 27-foot Boston Whalers, were presented to Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefalogiannis and Hellenic Coast Guard Vice Admiral Christos Delimichalis by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security Francis X. Taylor during a ceremony at the Falirou Marina in Athens on June 26.

The Hellenic Coast Guard will use the boats for close-in patrolling of ports and marinas around Greece and for quick interdiction against rogue vessels at sea. The ships were donated as part of the ongoing training for Hellenic Coast Guard personnel sponsored by the Antiterrorism Assistance Program (ATA) of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security.

During the run-up to the 2004 Athens Olympics, ATA and the U.S. Coast Guard have trained over 200 Hellenic Coast Guardsmen in the specialized areas of underwater explosives and emergency response to weapons of mass destruction, and have conducted numerous crisis management training seminars. In the most recent training session, the third in a series designed to bolster security at sea and at ports, 60 Hellenic coastguardsmen received training on maritime interdiction procedures.

For more than 2 years, ATA has been actively engaged with the Olympic Games Security Division (OGSD) at the Greek Ministry of Public Order and the Hellenic Coast Guard in training and assistance efforts for security at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Nearly 1,300 Greek security officials have participated in ATA-sponsored courses to date. Since 1986 ATA has invested nearly 20 million USD in Greece for specialized training, equipment, and consultations designed to enhance capabilities against terrorism.

In attendance at the June 26 ceremony were U.S. Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism Fran Townsend, State Department Coordinator for Counter Terrorism Ambassador Cofer Black, and U.S. Ambassador to Greece Thomas J. Miller.

Contact:
Public Affairs Section, American Embassy, Athens, Greece
Telephone: +30-210-646-7238, +30-210-643-4710
Fax: +30-210-729-4311
Internet: HTTP://WWW.USEMBASSY.GR
E-mail: ATHENSAMEMB@STATE.GOV


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