Evangelos Florakis Naval Base

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Seal of the Command of the Navy Base

The Evangelos Florakis Naval Base (Greek: Ναυτική Βάση «Ευάγγελος Φλωράκης») is a Cyprus Navy base, situated on the island's southern coast adjacent to the Vasilikos industrial area and power plant, near Zygi, between Limassol and Larnaca.

Operations[edit]

Prior to 11 July 2011, it was the main location of the Command of the Navy Base and one of the five primary commands (also referred to as sub-commands) of the Navy. It was responsible for overseeing all naval shore installations, facilities and associated personnel. The Command's current status is unclear.

Expansion[edit]

As a component of the EU's joint military development program (PESCO), Cyprus designed various upgrades in its defense infrastructure.[1] In 2019 serving Cypriot Defense Minister Savvas Angelides signed a letter of intent with his French counterpart Florence Parly. Speaking at a news conference, he said the expansion of the Evangelos Florakis Naval Base was linked to a military cooperation deal with EU partner states such as France.[2][3][4] It was reported that a new docking area was to be built for larger warships.[5]

Renaming[edit]

The base was known for decades as the Mari Naval Base. It was renamed after Lt. General Evangelos Florakis, who was killed in a helicopter crash in July 2002 while serving as the head of the Cypriot National Guard.[6]

Incidents[edit]

In February 2009 a Cypriot-flagged vessel carrying 98 shipping containers of military material including explosives, intended for Syria,[7] was intercepted in the Red Sea; the containers were stored at the Evangelos Florakis base, exposed to sunlight. On 11 July 2011 they exploded, killing 13 people and causing more than €3bn of damage.[8][9] The Commander of the Naval Base, Lambros Lambrou and the head of the Cyprus Navy, Naval Commander Andreas Ioannides, were both killed.[7][10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cyprus Plans Mari Naval Base Expansion To Host French Navy Ships". Naval News. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Expansion of base for use of French navy a priority says minister". Cyprus Mail. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Cyprus working with France to expand naval base". Associated Press. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Cyprus seeks French military help in snub to 'distracted' UK". The Times. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  5. ^ "Cyprus, France reportedly agree on use of naval base". eKathimerini. 16 May 2019.
  6. ^ "Cyprus mourns military deaths". BBC News. BBC. 10 July 2002. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  7. ^ a b Ioannis-Alexandros Ioannidis (9 July 2019). "Group of officials guilty of role in tragedy that shocked Cyprus".
  8. ^ "Beirut blast: The inferno and the mystery ship". BBC News. Retrieved 2020-08-21.
  9. ^ Hazou, Elias (26 September 2016). "Christofias hints at sabotage in Mari blast". Cyprus Mail. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  10. ^ Staff (11 July 2016). "Memorials held for 8th anniversary of naval-base deaths". Cyprus Mail. Retrieved 12 July 2019.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°43′30″N 33°16′55″E / 34.725°N 33.282°E / 34.725; 33.282