For the first time since its establishment, the Hellenic Police has reorganized its operational branches. In this new structure, the EKAM (the Greek equivalent of SWAT), with K9 units, EOD and Police Aviation teams, has been added to Special Operations Command.
As part of this reorganization, the EKAM (North) will significantly enhance its role and mission, as its area of operations now includes the northern border of Greece, which features intense mountainous terrain and an extensive transportation network.
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Of course, shifting the EKAM’s area of operations from an urban environment to a rural, mountainous one requires a change in training. To this end, EKAM operators will learn military-style tactics in joint training at the Hellenic Special Warfare Training Center (ΚΕΑΠ).
The training program has been greatly influenced by the corresponding program of the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) in America. Joint exercises and training courses with the staff of the Greek Special Forces and the Airborne Brigade, mainly in air assaults, are now part of this new training program as well.
EKAM operators perform their missions in very harsh conditions. The mythical Mount Olympus and the river Acheron in Epirus are entirely non-fictional in this scenario. EKAM (North) is based in Thessaloniki, and it’s comprised of 40 members. The entire staff belongs to charge teams, and there is also a sniper team, a breaching team, a diving team and a climbing/rappelling team. EKAM operators train every day, from basic strategies to more advanced emergency situation tactics.
“Joint … courses with Greek Special Forces and the Airborne Brigade, mainly in air assaults, are now part of this new training program as well.”
In the summer of 2013, the EKAM participated in an extremely important operation concerning the arrests of many dangerous terrorists in the area of Epirus. EKAM (North) snipers helped ensure the operation’s success. This success story (and many others that took place in the past) was the result of extremely hard training, many years of experience and well-organized teamwork. The operational requirements for the equipment being deployed with the EKAM are extremely demanding. The issued sidearm, the GLOCK 21, was a natural choice.
The GLOCK 21 has earned an excellent track record in Greece, as it was used in a large police operation that lasted two months, where it was tested in realistic and all-weather conditions with minimal maintenance in the field. Because of this, the G21 was chosen in 2004 for the security of the Olympic Games. Furthermore, the fact that the GLOCK handgun platform is used by the Hellenic Army Special Forces makes joint training at the Hellenic Special Warfare Training Center that much easier. Similarly, the G17 is used by the Greek MVA/OS and Underwater Demolition Teams. As a side note, EKAM operators use their GLOCKs with GTL-10 tactical lights mounted.
As part of the EKAM’s reorganization, the process of modernizing its arsenal with nocturnal sighting systems, targeting lasers, ballistic helmets, etc., is already well under way. The GLOCK 21 will continue to serve the EKAM for many years, protecting the places where Alexander the Great was born and raised.
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This article was published in the GLOCK AUTOPISTOLS 2015 magazine. To see the rest of the issue, please visit Personaldefenseworld.com/publications/glock-autopistols/glock-autopistols-2015.
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