RAF takes part in multinational terror attack response exercise off Cyprus

UK military personnel have taken part in a multinational training exercise focused on responding to a terrorist incident on an oil platform at sea.

Exercise Nemesis brought services from eight countries, including Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Israel, the UK and the US, to a simulated incident off the coast of Cyprus.  

84 Squadron - search and rescue specialists based at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus - was tasked with finding survivors in the sea surrounding the oil rig during the training.

Cypriot Defence Minister, Charalambos Petrides, watched the exercise from an operations centre.

He said: "The Republic of Cyprus is making every effort for constant upgrading of the procedures dealing with emergency situations such as anti-terrorism operations, search and rescue and pollution of maritime environments."

The exercise was observed closely by top military and multi-agency chiefs from the eight nations and allowed them to plan how they could work together for future emergencies.

Deputy Commander of the Joint Rescue Coordination Center, Major Andreas Zacharia, said: "We have learned you need always to be prepared for plan C.

"Things in real life situations are escalated in a very unpredictable way and you need to be prepared for anything that might occur."

Five hundred people took part in the exercise which is in its 8th year.

Colonel Duncan Kavanagh, Defence Adviser, British High Commission, Cyprus, said: "It's a fantastic opportunity for British Forces Cyprus to play its part in a multinational response to a regional challenge and it's a really good example of the bilateral relationship between the Republic of Cyprus and the United Kingdom."

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