Bill Strengthens U.S.-Greece Defense Partnership
The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (Order of AHEPA) applauds the U.S. Senate for passing the annual defense authorization bill today that includes provisions aimed to bolster the United States’ defense partnership with Greece, announced Supreme President Jimmy Kokotas.
Congress included the U.S.-Greece Defense and Interparliamentary Partnership Act of 2021 in the annual defense authorization bill (NDAA). The U.S. House of Representatives passed the NDAA on Dec. 8. It now heads to President Joe Biden’s desk for enactment.
“A secure and stable Eastern Mediterranean is a priority and in the United States’ best interests,” Supreme President Kokotas said. “In Greece, the United States has a dependable and steady ally in defense and security cooperation. The Act recognizes this fact and builds upon the alliance by taking the appropriate measures to authorize critical resources that enhance U.S. defense cooperation with Greece and maintain a lasting U.S. partnership in the Eastern Mediterranean. We commend Congress for passing it in the NDAA, and we look forward to its enactment.”
He added, “We sincerely appreciate the bill’s sponsors, Senators Robert Menendez and Marco Rubio, and Congressmen Ted Deutch and Gus Bilirakis, for spearheading the bipartisan-backed bill. We also thank the bill’s co-sponsors and relevant committee heads for their support.”
Key provisions of the U.S.-Greece Defense and Interparliamentary Partnership Act of 2021 include:
Support for Greek Military Modernization:
- Authorizes European Recapitalization Incentive Program (ERIP) assistance to Greece to support Greece’s transition away from Russian-produced military equipment
- Authorizes $1.8 million per year in International Military Education and Training (IMET) assistance to Greece for FY2022 – 2026
- Expresses the Sense of Congress that the U.S. should provide direct loans to Greece for the procurement of defense articles, defense services, and design and construction services pursuant to the further development of Greece’s military force
Transfer of American Military Equipment to Greece:
- Authorizes expedited delivery of any future F-35 aircraft ordered by Greece
- Requires the Secretary of Defense, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, to submit a report to Congress on Greece’s defense needs and how the United States will seek to address such needs through transfers of excess defense equipment to Greece
Parliamentary Engagement within the 3+1 Framework:
- Authorizes the establishment of an interparliamentary group among Cyprus, Greece, Israel and the United States to serve as the legislative component of the 3+1 process launched among the governments in March 2019
Separate from the U.S.-Greece Defense and Interparliamentary Partnership Act of 2021, the NDAA also authorizes $41,650,000 in FY2022 for military construction at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Souda Bay.
The NDAA passed the U.S. Senate by a vote of 89 to 10.