Joint Rescue Coordination Center

Συμβούλιο Οικονομίας και Ανταγωνιστικότητας Κύπρου

      The Multinational CIMIC Exercise “ARGONAUT 2024” took place in the maritime, air and land area of the Republic of Cyprus and was successfully completed today. The exercise was conducted by the Ministry of Defence in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Civil Defence and the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, under the general coordination of the National Guard, with the participation of many governmental agencies and services of the RoC.

      The exercise was carried out in three phases to test the Special National Plans “ESTIA” and “TEFKROS”, which deal with the reception of non-combatants from neighboring countries, as well as to confront mass Search and Rescue incidents, within the area of responsibility of the Republic of Cyprus.

      The 1st phase was coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the General Staff of the National Guard and included a tabletop exercise on the implementation of National Plan “ESTIA”, with a scenario of evacuation and reception of non-combatants from a crisis area. 16 State agencies of the Cyprus participated in the scenario and representatives of 24 countries also participated in the NEOCG (Non-combatant Evaluation Operations Coordination Group).

      Phase 2 of the exercise, was dealing with a Search and Rescue scenarios and was under the coordination of JRCC Larnaca. The Special National Plan “TEFKROS”, was implemented to deal with a naval and an aircraft accidents, occurred in the Republic of Cyprus’ area of responsibility. A total of 27 aeronautical assets and services with 550 personnel from the RoC, Egypt, Greece, the UK, France, the United States of America, Italy, and Israel, participated in the SAR scenario.

      The 3rd and final phase of the exercise ARGONAUT considered also as the Day of Distinguished Visitors (DVDay) and was conducted in the afternoon of April 11th, 2024, with real life implementation of National Plan “ESTIA”, to deal with reception of non-combatants from foreign countries to Cyprus and their reception by the state agencies. The exercise was observed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Konstantinos Kompos, the Chief of the National Guard, Lieutenant General Georgios Tsitsikostas and ambassadors or representatives from 37 countries, at the ZENON coordination Centre.

      The objectives set by the Minister of Defence, as the responsible Minister for the overall coordination of the exercise, have been achieved, as the involved services during the implementation of the National Plans “ESTIA” and “TEFKROS” had the opportunity to evaluate their operational procedures, confronting the mass reception incidents of non-combatants and maintaining a high level of readiness to deal with similar incidents.
      At the other hand, on international level, the successful implementation of the exercise highlighted the very important role that the Republic of Cyprus can play, as a hub for humanitarian operations and a pillar of stability in case of a crisis in the wider Eastern Mediterranean region. The importance of the exercise and the readiness of the state agencies was evaluated in real-life crisis, during the evacuation operations executed for non-combatants from Sudan and Israel, where a total of 3545 persons, from 32 countries were evacuated, to Cyprus (safe heaven) and then repatriated to their homelands.

Press Release Multinational CIMIC Exercise «ARGONAUT 2024»