Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt provided remarks to at the arrival ceremony of M1117 Armored Security Vehicles in Greece, Dec. 2. His remarks follow.
Minister Panagiotopoulos, General Floros, General Lalousis, thank you very much for doing me the honor of inviting me to participate in this induction ceremony for the first of 1,200 Armored Security Vehicles M1117, which will be provided to the Hellenic Armed Forces. My message today is very simple, and it is to emphasize the unwavering commitment of the United States government to our alliance with the Hellenic Republic, but also my enormous pride at the tremendous progress, which we have achieved in the interoperability and the partnership between our armed forces.
That interoperability is demonstrated every week across the Hellenic Republic from the exercises that we witnessed last week with our special forces working together through what we will do tomorrow in Alexandroupoli, where our forces are working together on the largest ever transfer of equipment through that strategically located port. But most importantly, demonstrating the partnership that is the essence of our alliance, our commitment to each other.
I want to emphasize the significance of this transfer, and thank you, General Lalousis, for acknowledging the leadership of General Cavoli and the tremendous support that we have enjoyed from U.S. Army Europe in putting this project together. I also want to acknowledge Colonel McDonald and the whole team at the U.S. Embassy Office of Defense Cooperation, which has worked so hard to bring this to fruition.
This is a very large transaction, as I said to the Minister. The 44 vehicles here today are just the taster of a very large transfer of 1,200 ASVs. 400 more will be delivered early next year in 2022. And I know that an Hellenic Army team has already traveled to the U.S. Sierra Army depot in October to identify another 400, and will be conducting a further joint visual inspection in 2022. When completed, this transfer of 1,200 vehicles will reflect a U.S. acquisition value of almost a billion dollars. USD 970 million of equipment provided to Greece at no cost under our Excess Defense Article program.
This is a transfer which the U.S. military is making and which the U.S. Congress has endorsed, which reflects our commitment to continuing to build on the strength of a relationship that has reached a high point but is not yet at its summit. A relationship which is embodied in our Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement and which has been reaffirmed at the highest levels by our defense and security authorities on both sides.
This is an investment we are making in each other because a Greece which is stronger and more secure makes our alliance stronger and more secure, and therefore makes the United States stronger and more secure.
So, Minister, congratulations, General, thank you so much for your partnership. I know that this is just one small step forward, but it reflects a much broader consolidation of the political and security relationship between our two countries, of which I am very proud and which I know President Biden and the rest of the U.S. government are profoundly committed to.