Ambassador Pyatt’s Remarks at Theon Sensors Signing Ceremony

Grande Bretagne Hotel, Athens

Thursday, October 10, 2019, 1:30 p.m.

Καλημέρα σας.  Minister Georgiadis, Christian, Mr. Hadjiminas, Colonel Styner, thank you for inviting me to join you today to celebrate the successful partnership between Theon Sensors and Elbit Systems of America.

This five-year contract is the first big win for Theon Sensors in the United States, a milestone achievement for both Theon Sensors and Greece.  It fits perfectly with Prime Minister Mitsotakis’s, Development Minister Georgiadis’s, and Defense Minister Panagiotopoulos’s priority on cultivating Greece defense and technology industries.

It’s also another great example of U.S.-Greek economic and defense cooperation, two major areas of focus in the U.S.-Greece Strategic Dialogue, which took place on Monday, and it is a significant step forward for a U.S. product that will enhance the war-fighting capability of our U.S. Marines.

Last weekend, Secretary of State Pompeo, my boss, and Minister Dendias helped to kick off our second Strategic Dialogue, which included high-level interagency representation from both of our countries, including on the defense and military sides.  It was a reflection of our shared resolve to take our bilateral relationship to new heights.  And significantly, our countries reaffirmed the shared commitment to further enhance our strategic defense and security partnership under the framework of a revised Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement.

We also agreed to boost bilateral trade and investment, especially in nanotechnology, and in this regard, we welcome recent developments in Greece’s economy, which are building momentum for sustainable, long-term economic growth and investment.

Our Embassy has been assisting Theon Sensors to partner with U.S. companies and to expand its footprint in America.  Theon Sensors will join another strong Hellenic Pavilion exhibit at the AUSA Conference in Washington, DC, next week. And through our SelectUSA program, we’ve introduced Theon Sensors to U.S. state economic development organizations that are helping the company to find the right location to grow its business in America.

Theon Sensors’ products have a strong performance record, providing components for high-performing Night Vision Devices across the globe.  This is yet another reminder of the capability of Greece’s extraordinary human capital, whose technical and engineering skills enjoy worldwide respect.

Theon Sensors’ dedicated Night Vision binocular is an integred component of the Squad Binocular Night Vision Goggle, an American product that will equip our U.S. Marines in low-light and night operations.

Our Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Ann Cataldo wrote to congratulate Theon on the contract, and I share her enthusiasm for this landmark accomplishment.  DAS Cataldo has been a strong advocate for our defense relationship with Greece ever since we hosted her first visit here in 2016.

She was also instrumental to bringing the Chinook and Kiowa helicopter programs to fruition and joined me for the arrival ceremony for those helicopters in Stefanovikio last June.  I know that these programs are top priorities for the Hellenic Armed Forces and for Minister Stefanis in particular.

So to everyone here today, and especially our American colleagues at Elbit, congratulations again on this significant win, a true success story for Defense Exports and Cooperation between our countries.  With very strong support from both our governments and growing American investment interest in partnering with Greece, I am confident that many more successes will soon follow, and I am certain that our defense relationship will continue to grow and deepen in the years ahead, in line with the vision that Prime Minister Mitsotakis and his team have laid out.

Thank you very much.  Ευχαριστώ πολύ.