Greek Special Operations

Eidiko Tmima Alexiptotiston (ETA)


The Hellenic (Greek) military maintains a number of elite units within its ranks. One of the most highly trained, and secretive, of these units is the Army’s Eidiko Tmima Alexiptotiston, or E.T.A. The E.T.A. (Special Parachute/Airborne Unit) was formed in 1959, as a Long Range Recon Patrol (LRRP) type unit, and is tasked with conducting operations similar to US Special Forces or British SAS units. Some of these missions include: strategic reconnaissance, direct action raids, and sabotage missions.

Very little information about the units training, organization, or operations has been released publicly. What little is known is that it’s composed of carrier officers and NCO’s. ETA’s troops undergo some of the most extensive and grueling training within the Greek armed forces. In addition to completing training at the Army’s KEAP (Kentro Ekpedefseos Anorthodoxou Polemou -Unconventional Warfare Training Center), SERE, and parachute courses, ETA operators have also attended the Greek Navy’s MYK course, and the NATO International Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol School in Germany. ETA operators have conducted joint training exercises similar type units from allied NATO countries, excluding Turkey.

Reportedly ETA recently been active in the former Yugoslavian republics.

ETA is known to use the US produced M-16 assault rifle, M-4 carbines, M-203 40 mm grenade launcher, and Belgian produced Minimi (US M-249 5.56 mm) light machine gun.


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