Training exercises conducted at the Cyclops centre in Larnaca are “of great importance” to the Republic of Cyprus, according to the centre’s director Chrysilios Chrisiliou.
Speaking on Thursday during a week-long training exercise in which teams from Cyprus and abroad are taking part, he said “this week is of particular importance of value both for the centre and for the Republic of Cyprus.”
He said the importance of the exercise was elevated “since we managed to achieve the funding and the provision of specialised training in dealing with emergency situations to representatives from 15 [Cypriot] services and three from Lebanon.”
“In addition to the upgraded relationship we have with the United States, there is also the opportunity to upgrade our relations with other neighbouring countries as well”, he said.
He also emphasised “the importance fore the local community of Larnaca, since the people who attend the exercises stay in hotels in the town and use restaurants and other services.”
He added that the training undertaken this week involves procedures used by the US’ emergency services and that it is a “continuation of the training we offered last March.”
“We hope to contribute to the better training of Cypriot emergency services in dealing with complex incidents and emergency situations,” he said.
Delving into the specifics of the training offered, he said “the centre hosts three training exercises. One concerns the response to emergency situations within Cyprus and is fully financed by the US government. At the same time, we offer training on spying, which is also funded by the US government, but offered by the United Nations office on drugs and crime.”
He said Egyptians and Cypriots were participating in the latter exercise.
In addition, he said part of the training offered “concerns the boarding of a moving ship.” In this particular exercise, detection dogs from the police’s canine branch were used, as well as people from Cyprus’ maritime police unit, customs department, fire brigade, and other units.
He said a total of 65 training exercises have taken place since the centre was opened last April, with a total of 1,600 people from 20 countries participating.