Organized by the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce with the support of the US Embassy in Athens, the USA Pavilion at DEFEA 2021 showcased the strong defense relationship between the US and Greece and underlined Greece’s role as a strategic ally in the region
Taking place on July 13-15 at the Metropolitan Expo exhibition center at Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos, DEFEA 2021, the first biennial Defense Exhibition Athens, was a resounding success. Organized under the auspices of the Hellenic Ministry of National Defense and the Hellenic Ministry of Shipping, the exhibition was supported by the Hellenic Aerospace Security and Defense Industries Group (HASDIG) and the Hellenic Association of Space Industry, and had SEKPY-Hellenic Manufacturers of Defense and Security Material Association as its strategic partner. Highlighting Greece as a strategic regional hub, DEFEA brought together defense and security industry stakeholders from across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, as well as the United States.
Without a doubt the reference point at DEFEA 2021, the USA Pavilion was organized by the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce with the support of the United States Embassy in Athens, in association with AUSA Hellenic Chapter. The Pavilion presented state-of-the-art equipment, services and heavy vehicles and helicopters of the US Army, attracting defense industry professionals, who toured its corridors, learned about the exhibits and exchanged views on further strengthening the partnership and ties between Greece and the United States.
The morning before the official opening of the fair, a breakfast briefing for USA Pavilion exhibitors gave participants the opportunity to be informed on the defense market in Greek and the wider region. A number of speakers—including Nikolaos Bakatselos, President of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce; Elias Spirtounias, Executive Director of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce; and US Embassy representatives Michele Siders, Political Counselor; Carl Watson, Deputy Economic Counselor; John Scimone, US Army, Army Programs Manager, Office of Defense Cooperation; and Nick Papachyssanthopoulos, Commercial Specialist, USCS Athens, US Embassy—provided a thorough review of Greece’s current status, covering key topics such as the political environment between the US and Greece and including an update on the services provided by the Office of Defense Cooperation and the USCS.
The ribbon cutting ceremony of the USA Pavilion at DEFEA 2021 took place on July 14, with the participation of a number of senior officials from across the political, military and diplomatic sectors as well as representatives of the business community. The ceremony was conducted by Nikolaos Bakatselos, President of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce; Heidi H. Grant, Director of the Defense Security and Cooperation Agency; Geoffrey R. Pyatt, Ambassador of the United States to the Hellenic Republic; and Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, Minister of National Defense; with Liz Wilson, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Defense Exports and Cooperation, and Major General Joe Jarrard, Deputy Commanding General for Army National Guard, among the distinguished guests.