ATHENS, Greece – NATO's commander in southern Europe met Greek security leaders Friday to discuss the alliance's role in helping safeguard the Athens Olympics (search).
U.S. Adm. Gregory Johnson, commander of NATO's Joint Force Command based in Naples, Italy, met Greek armed forces chief Gen. Giorgos Antonakopoulos and Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis. No statements were made after the meetings.
Greece is seeking NATO (search) help with aerial surveillance, sea patrols and protection against a chemical, biological or nuclear attack at the Aug. 13-29 Olympics, and the alliance is expected to approve the request.
A Greek defense official, who asked not to be identified, told The Associated Press that Johnson discussed deploying AWACS aircraft, warships from NATO's Mediterranean fleet, and the alliance's multinational chemical and biological battalion.
Government officials have said NATO support will be provided outside Greece's borders but the defense official said Johnson discussed the possible deployment of battalion officers near Athens.
Greece is spending more than $800 million on security for the games, with more than 50,000 police and soldiers involved.
Concern in Athens was raised following the March 11 bombings in Spain, and Greece's military is taking a more active role.
Antonakopoulos will travel Saturday to the United States for meetings with defense officials, including Gen. Richard Myers (search), chairman of the U.S. joint chiefs of staff.
The United States is advising Greece on security, along with six other countries, and is leading an international effort to provide Athens with potential threat information.