The Artillery Club’s 2019 Foreign Field Trip took place in Athens, during the period 06 October through 11 October.
Participation in the Field Trip was open to members of the Artillery Club and their spouses, or partners. 31 individuals, including 12 spouses, participated in the event
As with the successful trips in 2015 to Madrid and Segovia, in 2016 to Granada and Malaga, in 2017 to Lisbon, and in 2018 to Vienna, Commandant Michael Flood (Retd) was the 2019 Foreign Field Trip’s Coordinator.
On arrival in Athens, following the Coordinator’s verbal brief in the Polis Grand Hotel, the Group dined in the Hotel’s Rooftop Restaurant.
By kind permission of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff, and availing of military transport, on 07 October, the Group travelled to Néa Péramos, Attikis, the location of the Hellenic Artillery Directorate and its Artillery School.
The Group was received by the Commanding General, Brigadier-General Periklis Doukas, who was accompanied by the Deputy Commander Colonel Georgios Toutouzas, our Liaison Officer Colonel Nikolaos J. Pentsas, supported by Lieutenant-Colonel Argyrios Pontikeas.
During the reception, Brigadier-General Periklis Doukas presented the Club’s President with the Directorate’s plaque.
Following refreshments, Captain Ionnis Morfakidis provided a wide ranging brief on the “Historical Evolution of the Hellenic Artillery”, and the activities of the Artillery School – “Power through Knowledge”.
The Training Director, Colonel Georgios Kotas coordinated an impressive tour of the facilities which included the War Memorial, St Barbara’s Church, and the Artillery Museum. The Group observed impressive training demonstrations on various Artillery systems including Dias (Zeus), Iraklis (Hercules) and Keravnos.
While the Gunner Officers were receiving the Artillery Brief and associated Demonstrations, Lieutenant-Colonel Argyrios Pontikeas escorted the spouses to Elefsina, where they received a conducted tour of the sacred and ancient site, which is the birthplace of the dramatist Aeschylos and the home of the Eleusinian Mysteries.
The visit to Néa Péramos concluded with an enjoyable lunch in the Officers’ Mess hosted by the Artillery School. On behalf of the Group, Brigadier-General Paul Pakenham (Retd) presented Colonel Pentsas with an engraved tankard and Colonel Georgios Toutouzas with the Club’s plaque.
On 08 October, members of the Group participated in a day long Saronic Gulf cruise, visiting the islands of Agistri and Aegina.
Availing of military transport, on 09 October the Group visited the Hellenic War Museum in Athens. On arrival, we were formally welcomed by Colonel Christos Kyratsakis, following which he provided us with an overview of the museum’s building and its history, an insight into the numerous galleries, before conducting us on a comprehensive tour of focussed displays on Greek history from antiquity to the present. http://www.warmuseum.gr/en/node/6
On 10 October, once again availing of military transport, the Group visited the Battleship G.AVEROF, was received by Lieutenant Georgios Kyrioctis (Hellenic Navy), and escorted on a comprehensive tour of the battleship. http://averof.mil.gr Constructed in 1911, the battleship armament included 2 twin towers Armstrong 234mm and 4 twin towers Armstrong 190mm. With a full speed of 23 knots, the battleship had a crew of 670 in peacetime and a wartime crew of 1,200 personnel. It was deployed during the Balkan Wars (1912 – 1930), and both the First and Second World Wars. Following the visit, the Group spent some time in the Flisvos Marina.
The Hail and Farwell took place in the Kouvelos Restaurant, marking the end of a most rewarding and enjoyable Foreign Field Trip, encompassing the Artillery School, the War Museum, a Mediterranean Cruise and the Battleship G.AVEROF, coupled with finding sufficient time to visit local attractions such as the Acropolis, the Parthenon, the Temple of Hephaestus, the Arc of Hadrian, the Acropolis Museum, Syntagma Square (for the Changing of the Guard), the National Library, and Plaka.
The Artillery Club remains grateful to Commandant Michael Flood (Retd) who planned and executed the successful and memorable 2019 Foreign Field Trip to Athens, and our Hellenic Artillery Directorate’s Liaison Officer Colonel Nikolaos J. Pentsas.
For a range of photographs go to the Photo Albums Section of this website.