Georgios Chr. Katsaris
“Strict but fair towards his sailors and staff”. Captaın Andreas Ioannıdes, commander of the Evangelos Florakis Naval Base sacrificed his life in the line of duty, for his beliefs. Everybody who knew him said that the only thing he wished for was to be able to give even more.
Later on it was revealed that the Commander had, from the very beginning, expressed his strong disagreement with placing the containers within the naval base and frequently sent letters to the Ministry of Defense and the National Guard’s General Headquarters on the matter, without however receiving positive response.
Andreas Ioannides was admitted to the Hellenic Naval Academy in 1977 and graduated as a Combat Ensign in 1981. He specialized in Fast Boats and developed strong ties with his Greek colleagues. He trained and learned everything by their side and being the first Cypriot Combat officer, he practically laid the foundation for the establishment of the Cypriot Navy and thus giving the Cypriot Navy the opportunity to follow the traditions of the Greek Navy. This, in turn, resulted in the officers of both the Greek and Cypriot Navy to develop a very strong and close communication every time they met and cooperated.
The captain would not distinguish between Greece and Cyprus and he would always wear a jockey bearing the Hellenic Republic’s National Emblem.
His interaction with his Greek colleagues continued throughout his career since he reunited with his classmates from the Hellenic Naval Academy both at the General Training College, as well as the War College (Junior and Senior officers’), and the National Defense College. Previously he had chosen to undergo the particularly tough training of the Greek as well as the American seals, during which he was distinguished for his excellent performance.
He was the first Cypriot Navy Commander to represent Cyprus in all international Naval fora, while in 2008 he successfully organized the Convention of the Chiefs of European Navies in Cyprus for the first time.
He was always the first in battle and this is what he did once again yesterday. A colleague of his who had the fortune of knowing him very well talked to us and said: “do not cry for Andreas, he is proud of what he did, but at the same time sad for not being able to do more for Greece and his island Cyprus; he was such a brave man!”
Commodore Andreas Ioannides