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The defense is based on NATO membership. In 1990, Greece's defense was reorganized, and the rights of the United States to have larger bases in the country were extended. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that GRC stands for Greece. The defense covers (2005) 165,000 men with 325,000 men in reserve and is based on general defense with an initial service of up to 14 months. It is organized into an army of 110,000 men, 310,000 men fully staffed, with 17 brigades, five of which are independent and a parachute division. The Navy comprises 19,000 men, 43,000 men fully manned, with 13 submarines, about 18 fighters/frigates and about 40 patrol vessels.

Military of Greece

The Air Force has 23,000 men, 55,000 men fully staffed, with 285 fighter aircraft, preferably Mirage and F-16. The National Guard covers 35,000 reservists. In addition, Greece has coastguard forces of 4,000 men with 100 guard boats. Defense costs (2005) amount to 2.1% of GDP. Greece has a mechanized brigade and adviser, a total of 1,150 men, located in Cyprus and participates in a number of international efforts, including in Bosnia and Herzegovina (200 men) and in Serbia and Montenegro (1,700 men). The US has two smaller naval bases and an air base in Greece.

Greece's defense overview

Greece is a member of NATO. There is a general military duty for men (and voluntary service for women) from the age of 18; the initial service is up to 9 months for the Army and 12 months for the Air Force and Navy. The total force figures for Greece's armed forces are 142,350 active personnel, a reserve of 220,500 personnel, and in addition 4000 semi-military in the Coast Guard and Customs (2018, IISS).


The army has a strength of 93,500 active personnel, including 45,000 conscripts. Heavy materials include 1328 tanks (353 Leopard 2, 500 Leopard 1, 100 M60 and 375 M48), 398 BMP-1 storm tanks and 2407 armored personnel vehicles, of which 2108 M113 or variants. The Army also has 18 light transport aircraft and 168 helicopters, of which 28 are combat helicopters of the Apache type, and four medium- duty drones.

Air Force

The Air Force has a strength of 21,000 active personnel, including 2,200 conscripts. Materials include 231 fighter aircraft (34 Phantom II, 155 F-16 and 42 Mirage 2000), four AEW aircraft, 26 transport aircraft, 31 helicopters and 91 training aircraft.

The Navy

The Navy has a strength of 16 250 active personnel, of which 2050 conscripts. The fleet comprises 11 submarines, 13 frigates, of which four are MEKO 200 (3200 tonnes) and nine of the Dutch Kortenaer class (3800 tonnes), five corvettes, 28 patrol vessels (four of which are Norwegian Nasty class), four minesweepers, 20 landing craft, 25 logistics and auxiliary vessels, five Orion patrol aircraft (in circulation) and 18 helicopters.

Operations abroad

Greece participated in 2018, including NATO operations in Afghanistan (Operation Resolute Support) with five personnel, and in Serbia (KFOR) with 116 personnel.

Greece also participated in the UN operation in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 148 personnel and a frigate.

The Greek army has a presence in Cyprus with 1150 personnel, 61 tanks, as well as armored personnel vehicles and artillery.

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