Protests surge as US military ship anchors in Greek port city

Defense  |
Editor : Selin Hayat Hacialioglu
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Alexandroupolis transforms into a NATO focal point with the docking of the U.S. Navy's Leroy A. Mendonca, igniting local protests and sparking discussions on Greece's role in military alliances

Protests surge as US military ship anchors in Greek port city

The strategic Greek port city of Alexandroupolis has recently witnessed the arrival of additional NATO forces, particularly from the United States, drawing significant public attention.

The U.S. Navy's vehicle cargo ship, Leroy A. Mendonca, docked at the port on Monday morning. This ship, nearly 300 meters (984.25 feet) in length and part of the Bob Hope class, will be conducting unloading operations at least until March 29.

Unique to this operation, Leroy A. Mendonca has deactivated its Automatic Identification System (AIS), diverging from common practice in similar naval movements. Sources last spotted the ship off the Thermaic Gulf on Sunday evening before its arrival in Alexandroupolis.

The ship embarked on its journey from the military port of Beaumont, Texas, following a similar path as the large American transport ship ARC Endurance, which arrived in Alexandroupolis on March 14.

Simultaneously, Alexandroupolis became the site of a significant protest against Greece's participation in U.S.-NATO-EU conflicts.

The Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Committee of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) organized the rally. Secretary of the Regional Committee Dionysis Kladias addressed the gathering at Academias Park. In his speech, Kladias stressed the two-year mark of the Ukraine war and condemned Greece's involvement.

He said, "Within a few days, the KKE organized a major mobilization at the Russian and American embassies in Athens, but also here in Alexandroupolis, we carried out a mass mobilization at the office of the Russian consulate and the port used by the American-NATO forces for the transport of military equipment and other military means."

Following his speech, protesters marched through the city streets, prominently featuring a large Palestinian flag and vocalizing their opposition to the military use of Alexandroupolis.

Additionally, George Tsunis, the U.S. ambassador to Greece, emphasized the development of energy infrastructure in the region and announced the implementation of a secondfloating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) in Alexandroupolis.

"The first shipment for the first FSRU  is expected on April 1. We are working on a second FSRU," Tsunis stated, signaling the region's growing geostrategic and economic significance. This project aims to facilitate energy distribution across Greece and southeastern Europe.

Tsunis also revealed the scale of military equipment movement through Alexandroupolis.

"We have transferred 9,000 pieces of NATO equipment through the port (of Alexandroupolis). This month, we will transfer another 3,000 pieces of military equipment," he announced. This statement points to Alexandroupolis's vital role in maintaining NATO's logistical operations amid the ongoing Ukrainian conflict.

Source: Newsroom

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