The Italian military ship Etna arrived at Limassol port on Tuesday morning, where it will remain until Friday.
Limassol marks the last of seven stops in the two month-journey for the ship, which after its departure from the southern Italian port of Taranto on July 21 has already called at Tangier, Barcelona, Tunis, Piraeus, Istanbul and Haifa.
Etna hosts training for cadets of the Italian Naval Academy.
This phase of the training of future officers aims at educating them to open mindedness towards different cultures, customs and traditions, with a view to promoting and increasing multinational cooperation, Captain Luca Pasquale Esposito said during a press conference on board.
“This is the first time for the cadets on a warship, so it’s a very important part of their training. The reason why we stop in different ports is to allow them to meet other cultures and to show them there are many different ways of doing things.
Etna is a multi-purpose ship, mainly an afloat command platform and a logistic deport unit.
The ship is quite unique as it can operate as a NATO-approved naval replenishment unit as well as a logistic support ship, carrying food and ammunitions for the entire Italian naval forces at seas, and finally as a proper hospital, complete with a surgery room and a medical and dental team onboard. A helicopter is also currently on the ship.
The ship will also conduct a military exercise with the Cyprus Navy in the next two days.
“The aim of these exercises is to improve the cooperation at seas with key players in the Mediterranean, such as Cyprus and to learn how to conduct coordinated operations,” Esposito said.
He met Limassol Mayor Nicos Nicolaides and the Commander of the Cyprus Navy Captain Charalambous Charalambos earlier on Tuesday.
“They told me that the town is developing at a very fast pace, which I also noticed as far as the port is concerned.
“Also the cadets, who already ventured into town, told me it’s very lively. I am looking forward to visit it as well in the next days.”