Cypriot National Guard
Overview
 
The Cypriot National Guard (Greek: Εθνική Φρουρά, Ethnikí Frourá; Turkish: Kıbrıs Ulusal Muhafızları), also known as the "Greek Cypriot National Guard" or simply as "National Guard", is the combined arms
Combined arms
Combined arms is an approach to warfare which seeks to integrate different branches of a military to achieve mutually complementary effects...

 military force of the Republic of Cyprus. This force consists of Air, Land, Sea and Special Forces elements, and is highly integrated with its first and second line reserves, as well as supporting civilian agencies and paramilitary
Paramilitary
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....

 forces.

Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 currently maintains a garrison
Garrison
Garrison is the collective term for a body of troops stationed in a particular location, originally to guard it, but now often simply using it as a home base....

 in the Republic of Cyprus under the designation ELDYK
ELDYK
The Hellenic Force in Cyprus , commonly known in its abbreviated form as ELDYK , is the permanent Greek military force stationed in Cyprus. ELDYK was formed on November 20, 1959 at Agios Stefanos, Athens, soon after the Zürich and London Agreements established the independence of Cyprus...

 or Hellenic Forces in Cyprus (Greek: Ελληνικές Δυνάμεις Κύπρου or ΕΛΔΥΚ), but this is not officially part of the Cyprus military and primarily serves as a NATO brigade-level influence for training and support of the National Guard.
The National Guard was established in 1964 as a force composed entirely of ethnic Greeks, following the 1963–1964 breakdown
Cypriot intercommunal violence
Cypriot intercommunal violence refers to periods of sectarian conflict between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots on the island of Cyprus from 1963 to 1974.-Background:...

 of social and political relations between Greek and Turkish Cypriots
Turkish Cypriots
Turkish Cypriots are the ethnic Turks and members of the Turkish-speaking ethnolinguistic community of the Eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The term is used to refer explicitly to the indigenous Turkish Cypriots, whose Ottoman Turkish forbears colonised the island in 1571...

 on the island of Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

.
Encyclopedia
The Cypriot National Guard (Greek: Εθνική Φρουρά, Ethnikí Frourá; Turkish: Kıbrıs Ulusal Muhafızları), also known as the "Greek Cypriot National Guard" or simply as "National Guard", is the combined arms
Combined arms
Combined arms is an approach to warfare which seeks to integrate different branches of a military to achieve mutually complementary effects...

 military force of the Republic of Cyprus. This force consists of Air, Land, Sea and Special Forces elements, and is highly integrated with its first and second line reserves, as well as supporting civilian agencies and paramilitary
Paramilitary
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....

 forces.

Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 currently maintains a garrison
Garrison
Garrison is the collective term for a body of troops stationed in a particular location, originally to guard it, but now often simply using it as a home base....

 in the Republic of Cyprus under the designation ELDYK
ELDYK
The Hellenic Force in Cyprus , commonly known in its abbreviated form as ELDYK , is the permanent Greek military force stationed in Cyprus. ELDYK was formed on November 20, 1959 at Agios Stefanos, Athens, soon after the Zürich and London Agreements established the independence of Cyprus...

 or Hellenic Forces in Cyprus (Greek: Ελληνικές Δυνάμεις Κύπρου or ΕΛΔΥΚ), but this is not officially part of the Cyprus military and primarily serves as a NATO brigade-level influence for training and support of the National Guard.

History

The National Guard was established in 1964 as a force composed entirely of ethnic Greeks, following the 1963–1964 breakdown
Cypriot intercommunal violence
Cypriot intercommunal violence refers to periods of sectarian conflict between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots on the island of Cyprus from 1963 to 1974.-Background:...

 of social and political relations between Greek and Turkish Cypriots
Turkish Cypriots
Turkish Cypriots are the ethnic Turks and members of the Turkish-speaking ethnolinguistic community of the Eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The term is used to refer explicitly to the indigenous Turkish Cypriots, whose Ottoman Turkish forbears colonised the island in 1571...

 on the island of Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

. Under the early Constitution
Constitution of Cyprus
The Constitution of Cyprus is a document, ratified on August 16, 1960, that serves as the framework for the Cypriot government. It was drafted after the country won its independence in 1959....

 of 1960–1963, Cyprus was entitled to an army of 2,000 men, to be made up of 60% Greek and 40% Turkish personnel. The first elected President of the Republic of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios III
Makarios III
Makarios III , born Andreas Christodolou Mouskos , was the archbishop and primate of the autocephalous Cypriot Orthodox Church and the first President of the Republic of Cyprus ....

, proposed thirteen constitutional amendments to the 1960 constitution, which would have adjusted distribution of manpower and voting power for all civil and military services. This adjustment was aimed at giving greater representation and influence to the Greek Cypriot majority
Majority
A majority is a subset of a group consisting of more than half of its members. This can be compared to a plurality, which is a subset larger than any other subset; i.e. a plurality is not necessarily a majority as the largest subset may consist of less than half the group's population...

, which at the time formed around 82% of the island's indigenous
Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples are ethnic groups that are defined as indigenous according to one of the various definitions of the term, there is no universally accepted definition but most of which carry connotations of being the "original inhabitants" of a territory....

 population.

Operational History

The Cypriot National Guard has been involved in multiple combat operations, all within Cyprus territory.
  • In 1964, Cyprus and Turkey engaged in direct confrontation during the Battle of Tylliria
    Battle of Tylliria
    The Battle of Tylliria or Battle of Kokkina was a battle between the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot forces at Tylliria area, in the Eastern Mediterranean.- Location :...

    , as a result of civil warfare between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Greek Cypriot forces invaded the Turkish Cypriot coastal enclave of Kokkina in an effort to eliminate a Turkish beachhead, resulting in almost two weeks of fighting.

  • In 1974, Turkey launched an all out surprise attack on Cyprus on the pretext of intervening against a military coup by the Cyprus National Guard in Nicosia. The invasion resulted in two concentrated Turkish offensives (Attila-1 and Attila-2) and one dispersed Greek Cypriot counter-offensive (Aphrodite-2). Within one month, Turkish forces had captured 38% of the island's northern area, succeeding in bisecting Nicosia and taking Kyrenia, Morphou and Famagusta. Cypriot National Guard forces, supported by a smaller number of Greek troops, were only able to prevent the loss of Nicosia International Airport and the Kato Pyrgos corridor during the second Turkish offensive.

  • In 1978, Egyptian forces raided Larnaca International Airport in an effort to seize a hijacked Greek Cypriot airliner. Greek Cypriot commando and paramilitary forces resisted the Egyptian forces, resulting in a sustained gun battle with the death of 12 Egyptian commandos and 3 Egyptian Air Force aircrew.

Conscription

Currently, only Greek Cypriots
Greek Cypriots
Greek Cypriots are the ethnic Greek population of Cyprus, forming the island's largest ethnolinguistic community at 77% of the population. Greek Cypriots are mostly members of the Church of Cyprus, an autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church within the wider communion of Orthodox Christianity...

 serve in the military. Legally, the Greek Cypriot community comprises the ethnic Greek
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 population as well as Cypriots belonging to three Christian minorities – the Armenians
Armenians in Cyprus
Armenians in Cyprus or Armenian-Cypriots are ethnic Armenians that live in Cyprus. Armenian-Cypriots maintain a notable presence of about 3.500 on the island , mostly centred in the capital Nicosia, but also with communities in Larnaca...

, Latin Rite Catholics
Roman Catholicism in Cyprus
The Roman Catholic Church in Cyprus is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope and curia in Rome.There are around 10,000 Catholic faithful in Cyprus, corresponding to just over 1% of the total population...

 and Maronites
Maronites in Cyprus
The Maronites in Cyprus are members of the Maronite Church whose ancestors migrated from the Levant during the Middle Ages. They traditionally speak their own variety of Arabic in addition to Greek...

. Since 2008, service is mandatory for all members of the Greek Cypriot community and not only for ethnic Greeks. The current supreme commander
Supreme Commander
Supreme Commander may refer to:* Commander-in-chief, a military rank**Supreme Allied Commander, title held by the most senior commander within certain multinational military alliances...

 is a Greek military commander, as have been all of his predecessors.

Military service in the Republic of Cyprus is mandatory
Conscription
Conscription is the compulsory enlistment of people in some sort of national service, most often military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names...

 for males. The minimum obligatory service period is 24 months. All male visitors to the island of military age (16 and over) who have a father of Cypriot extraction are required to obtain an exit visa from a Defence Ministry office.

Reduction of military conscription in Cyprus
Reduction of military conscription in Cyprus
The proposal for reduction of miltiary conscription in Cyprus has been an old suggestion made by different Cypriot politicians, an idea which still exists today. Conscription in Cyprus has been introduced in 1974 to defend the island from a future military threats from Turkey which invaded and...

A motion for reduction of military service from 25 to 14 months, while recruiting the necessary number of professional soldiers backed the Democratic Rally
Democratic Rally
The Democratic Rally , is a centre-right political party in Cyprus, led by Nicos Anastasiades.The party was founded on 4 July 1976 by veteran politician Glafkos Klerides. Clerides served as Cyprus president from 1993 until 2003....

 and Progressive Party of Working People
Progressive Party of Working People
The Progressive Party of Working People is a communist party in Cyprus. It supports an independent, demilitarized and non-aligned Cyprus, and a federal solution of the internal aspect of the Cyprus problem. It places particular emphasis on rapprochement with the Turkish Cypriots. It supported...

.

The chairman of the Democratic Rally party Nicos Anastasiades
Nicos Anastasiades
Nicos Anastasiades is a Cypriot politician who is the political leader of the centre-right political party DISY . In parliamentary elections on May 22, 2011, the Democratic Rally won 20 seats, which was more than any other party but not a majority of the 56-member House of...

 during his press conference presented the proposals of Democratic Rally on Defence, saying that by that way the Cyprus National Guard will be transformed into a modern semi-professional army.

Referring to the economic aspect of his proposal, he has said that for only 4 to 5 years the state would incur additional costs but then the cost will be reduced.

Camouflage Patterns

  • National Guard Standard Issue - Cyprus National Guard Pattern (similar to woodland but with different colours to match the environment) and Greek Lizard Pattern
  • Army Special Forces (DKD) - MARPAT Woodland (Exact pattern and cut of USMC MARPAT, but with no EGA embroidered)
  • Army Special Forces (DKD) - ACU Universal
  • Army Special Forces (DKD) - Klyaksa Snow Camouflage
  • Navy Special Forces (OYK) - US Woodland
  • Air Force - Cyprus National AF Guard Pattern

Ground component

The main body of the Cypriot ground forces is made up by 2 infantry divisions, 3 infantry briagdes, 1 armored brigade and 1 support brigade.
  • 1st Infantry Division (Ιη Μεραρχία ΠΖ)
  • 2nd Infantry Division (ΙΙα Μεραρχία ΠΖ)
  • 4th Infantry Brigade (ΙVη Ταξιαρχία ΠΖ)
  • 20th Armored Brigade (ΧΧη ΤΘ Ταξιαρχία)
  • 3rd Support Brigade (ΙΙΙη Ταξιαρχία ΥΠ)
  • 7th Infantry Brigade (VIIη Ταξιαρχία ΠΖ)
  • 8th Infantry Brigade (VIIIη Ταξιαρχία ΠΖ)
  • Artillery Command (Διοίκηση Πυροβολικού)
  • Military Police (Στρατονομία)
  • Special Forces Command (Διοίκηση Kαταδρόμων)

Naval Component

The Naval Component of the Cypriot National Guard is alternatively known as the "Cyprus Navy" (Greek: Ναυτική Διοίκηση Κύπρου). The force is organised into a Warships Command (with 4 Fast Patrol Boats, 3 Ramped Craft Logistics and 2 Fast Assault Boats); a Coastal Battery Command (with 24 MM40 Exocet Block-II sea-skimming missiles); a Coastal Surveillance Command (with classified integrated radar systems); and a Command of the Navy Base (Evangelos Florakis Navy Base).

The Naval Component also operates a Special Forces
Special forces
Special forces, or special operations forces are terms used to describe elite military tactical teams trained to perform high-risk dangerous missions that conventional units cannot perform...

 Sub-Command known as OYK (Under Water Demolitions Unit), the operations of which are totally classified.




Air Component

The Air Component of the Cypriot National Guard is typically referred as the Cyprus Air Command (Greek: Διοίκησης Αεροπορίας Κύπρου). The Cyprus Air Command consists of the 449 Anti-Tank Helicopter Squadron (with 4 SA-342L Gazelles and 2 Bell-206L-3s), the 450 Attack Helicopter Squadron (with 11 Mi-35PN Hind-F heavy attack helicopters, 1 PC-9 and 1 BN2B-21), the 460 Helicopter Squadron (with 3 AW-139s), and a secret UAV squadron (designation and equipment not officially acknowledged). Additionally, the Air Defence Sub-Command of the Air Force, which operates air-defence weapons, is kept secret in terms of its organisation and equipment.

Army

The Cyprus armed forces operate a pool of three Army Special Forces Groups (plus one auxiliary) known colloquially as LOK (Greek: ΛΟΚ - Λόχοι Ορεινών Καταδρομών, Lochoi Oreinōn Katadromōn). All LOK Groups are part of the Army Special Forces Command DKD (Greek: ΔΚΔ - Διοίκησης Καταδρομών - Diikisis Katadromon), and a soldier belonging to the Brigade is called a Raider (Greek: Kαταδρομέας, Kαταδρομείς - Katadromeas, Katadromeis). Cyprus Special Forces training is based closely on their Greek Counterparts.

All members of the Brigade wear the unit insignia depicting a winged sword, representative of the "deadly, silent and swift" nature of special forces operations. A scroll runs across the sword and wings with the motto Who Dares Wins
Who Dares Wins
Who Dares, Wins, Latin: "Qui audet adipiscitur" is a motto that originated with the British Special Air Service. It is normally credited to the founder of the SAS, David Stirling. The motto has been used by nine elite special forces units around the world that in some way have historical ties to...

( - O Tolmon Nika), a tribute to the Free Greek Special Forces
Sacred Band (World War II)
The Sacred band was a Greek special forces unit formed in 1942 in the Middle East, composed entirely of Greek officers and officer cadets under the command of Col. Christodoulos Tsigantes. It fought alongside the SAS in the Libyan desert and the Aegean, as well as with General Leclerc's Free...

 that served with the 1st Special Air Service
Special Air Service
Special Air Service or SAS is a corps of the British Army constituted on 31 May 1950. They are part of the United Kingdom Special Forces and have served as a model for the special forces of many other countries all over the world...

 (1 SAS) Brigade during World War II. The unit flash is emblazoned with ΔΥΝΑΜΕΙΣ ΚΑΤΑΔΡΟΜΩΝ (Raider Forces). While on operation, low-visibility patches are worn.

All Raiders wear the green beret with the national emblem on the left.

Navy

The Navy has a Special Forces Group known as OYK (Greek: ΟΥΚ - Ομάδα Υποβρυχίων Καταστροφών, Omada Ipovrixion Katastrofon)

Police

The police also have an armed paramilitary Special Operations Groups related to anti-terrorism, as well as the MMAD Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Command of the Cyprus Police.

Reserve Forces



The Republic of Cyprus is thought to possess ready reserves (first and second line reserves of fighting fitness and age) in the order of 75,000 men (some estimates of 50,000 exclude the trained and organised Home Guard or Third Line). These numbers do not include females of voluntary military experience or fighting fitness / age.

Formed reserve units in existence include six light infantry brigades (maintained at cadre strength during peacetime). Each of these brigades has three battalions with supporting command, control, communications and supply infrastructure.

Armoured Forces



The main armoured capability of the Cypriot National Guard is structured under the command of the 20th Armoured Brigade. This force includes a nominal strength of 3 tank battalions (82 T-80U MBTs and 54 AMX-30B2s) with an auxiliary unit of spare tanks (50 AMX-30s slated for phase out, to be replaced with 41 T-80Us). The XX brigade also includes a nominal strength of 3 or 4 mechanized infantry battalions, a reconnaissance battalion, a self-propelled artillery battery and a mobile air-defence battery (TOR-M1s).

The remaining armoured forces are distributed to units of mechanised infantry and self-propelled anti-tank systems deployed at the divisional and brigade level.

Military Equipment Inventory

Land Component

{|{| class="wikitable"
|-
|colspan=4 bgcolor=#ddddbb|Main Battle Tanks
|-
| With 125mm Armament || T-80U || 82 || Active
|-
| With 105mm Armament || AMX-30B2 || 54 || Active
|-
| With 105mm Armament || AMX-30 || 50 || Spare
|-
|colspan=4 bgcolor=#ddddbb|Armoured Fighting Vehicles
|-
| With 100mm Armament || BMP-3 || 43 || Active
|-
| With 90mm Armament || EE-9 || 54 || Active
|-
| With 30mm Armament || VAB-VCI || 27 || Active
|-
| With 90mm Armament || EE-9 || 53 || Spare
|-
|colspan=4 bgcolor=#ddddbb|Armoured Personnel Carriers
|-
| With 12.7mm Armament || Leonidas-1/2 || 168 || Active
|-
| With 12.7mm Armament || VAB || 126 || Active
|-
|colspan=4 bgcolor=#ddddbb|Guided Missile Carriers
|-
| With MILAN Missile || EE-3 || 15 || Active
|-
| With HOT Missile || VAB-VCAC || 18 || Active
|-
|colspan=4 bgcolor=#ddddbb|Self Propelled Artillery
|-
| 155mm Howitzer || ZUZANA || 12 || Active
|-
| 155mm Howitzer || MK F3 || 12 || Active
|-
| 122mm multiple rocket launcher || BM-21 || 18 || Active
|-
|colspan=4 bgcolor=#ddddbb|Towed Artillery
|-
| 155mm Howitzer || TRF-1 || 12 || Active
|-
| 105mm Howitzer || Mod 56 Howitzer || 72 || Active
|-
| 100mm Howitzer || M1944 || 20 || Active
|-
| 128mm multiple rocket launcher || M-63 Plamen || 18 || Active
|-
|}

Sources

Creation of National Guard

Order of Battle
  • "Cyprus, 1974", by T. Cooper and N. Tselepidis, published October 28, 2003 for ACIG.org.


Armaments
  • Cyprus National Guard Official Site
  • Table 23, Republic of Cyprus: Major National Guard Equipment, 1990, Library of Congress (Additional sourcing: Based on information from The Military Balance, 1989–1990, London, 1989, 85; and Christopher F. Foss, "Cypriot Rearmament Completed," Jane's Defence Weekly [London], March 12, 1988, 445.)
  • APORRITOS ATILLAS, Savvas Vlassis
  • "1974: The Unknown Backstage of the Turkish Invasion", Makarios Drousiotis, Nicosia 2002, ISBN 9963-631-02-9
  • Cyprus 1974 - The Greek coup and the Turkish invasion, Makarios Drousiotis, Hellenic Distribution Agency
  • Conway's: All The World's Fighting Ships 1947-1995
  • Erich Gröner "Die Deutschen Kriegsschiffe 1815-1945", Band 2, Munchen 1983, ISBN 3-7637-4801-6
  • Cyprus, 1955-1973 By Tom Cooper, www.acig.org
  • Cyprus 100 Years Alex Efthyvoulou, Laiki Cultural Bank Archive
  • British Pathe Archive


Combat Actions
  • The Cyprus Conflict
  • "1974: The Unknown Backstage of the Turkish Invasion", Makarios Drousiotis, Nicosia 2002, ISBN 9963-631-02-9
  • Cyprus 1974 - The Greek coup and the Turkish invasion, Makarios Drousiotis, Hellenic Distribution Agency
  • Cyprus, 1955-1973 By Tom Cooper, www.acig.org

See also

  • Military Equipment of Cyprus
    Military Equipment of Cyprus
    Currently, the Cyprus National Guard is a combined arms force and represents the organised air, land and sea capabilities of the Republic of Cyprus. Equipment has in the past, and usually still is, imported from other countries, since the country has only very limited heavy industrial and...

  • Cyprus Port & Marine Police
  • Cyprus Police
  • List of Minister of Defence of the Republic of Cyprus
  • Reported Military Losses during the Invasion of Cyprus (1974)
    Reported Military Losses during the Invasion of Cyprus (1974)
    On 20 July 1974, the armed forces of Turkey invaded the northern portion of the Republic of Cyprus on the pretext of intervening against a military coup taking place on the island by the Athens-backed Cyprus National Guard against the country's democratically elected President, Archbishop Makarios...

  • Military operations during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus
    Military operations during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus
    In 1974, Turkey invaded the northern portion of the Republic of Cyprus in response to a military coup taking place on the island, in attempt to annex the island to Greece. Turkey claimed that their intervention is in accordance to Treaty of Guarantee. The invasion consisted of two major Turkish...

  • Battle of Tylliria (Cyprus 1964)
  • Battle of Pentemili beachhead (1974)
    Battle of Pentemili beachhead (1974)
    Pentemili is the name of the beach of northern Cyprus where the Turkish troops landed on 20 July 1974. It is located 5 miles west of Kyrenia, thus the name. For 3 days , heavy fighting took place around the beachhead of Pentemili, between Turkish and Greek Cypriot forces.- The landing :The Turkish...

  • Timeline of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus
    Timeline of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus
    * 15 July 1974 – The Cypriot National Guard and EOKA B led by the Greek Junta launch a coup to overthrow the democratically-elected President, Archbishop Makarios III....

  • British Forces Cyprus
    British Forces Cyprus
    British Forces Cyprus is the name given to the British Armed Forces stationed in the UK sovereign base areas of Dhekelia and Akrotiri on the island of Cyprus...

  • Turkish Cypriot Security Force

External links

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