On Tuesday 18 November 2014, the Hellenic Minister of Defence, Nikolaos Georgios Dendias, accompanied by a military delegation of high-ranking Greek officers, visited the European Union Operation Headquarters based in Larissa.
The new appointed Greek Minister of Defence was hosted by the EU Operation Commander, French Major General Philippe Pontiès. The distinguished guest was briefed on the operational capabilities of the Headquarters, the humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) and the achievements of the European Union operation so far as well as the extension of the operation until March2015.
General Pontiès emphasized the fact that during this operation a fast track planning process took place for the first time in the history of EU operations, stressing that the EUFOR RCA operation is the only EU operation with troops on the ground. He mentioned that yesterdays hand-over of Bangui's international airport to the UN led International Forces (MINUSCA) is the first major step in fulfilling the EU operations mandate.
During his visit, the Hellenic Minister of Defence greeted all the representatives of the participating nations and commented on the outstanding performance of the multinational staff. Mr. Dendias was accompanied by Chief of Defense, General Mikhail Kostarakos.