Commodore Stelios Kostalas GRC(N) – Commandant of NMIOTC
Born in September 1965, Commodore Stelios Kostalas joined the Hellenic Navy in 1983 and graduated from the Hellenic Naval Academy in 1987.
Currently and since June 2018, he serves as Commandant of the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Centre (NMIOTC). He has served for 3 years in NATO HQ, at Military Partnerships Directorate (as MPD SENF Director) in ACT Norfolk USA.
In 1990 he started his Special Forces’ career by graduating from BUD’s / US NAVY SEALS’s training and the US EOD training course. Subsequently and for the last 25 years, he served in the following HN-SOCOM positions: Platoon Leader, Security and Boarding Team Leader, Training Officer, Training Director and finally he served as Commandant of the Hellenic Navy Special Forces (Underwater Demolition / SEALs Command).
He deployed in support of numerous special operations abroad, including leading Navy’s Special Team in Operation “Golden Fleece” in August 1993 (a non-combatant evacuation operation rescuing Greek natives from Georgia fleeing the War in Abkhazia) and Operation SHARP GUARD in 1993 in the Adriatic Sea supporting the UN sanctions imposed on the Former Yugoslavia. Finally, he has participated in numerous underwater EOD operations and has led security teams for various high-profile state visits and senior military leaders.
His fleet operational service includes assignments as an Officer on-board Destroyers, guided missile Patrol Boats and Amphibious Vessels. He served as Commanding Officer (CO) of the following ships: Coastal Patrol Boat Panagopoulos II, Fast Patrol Boat Stamou, Gunboat Armatolos and LST Ikaria.
His shore assignments include service as Director of the COS office at the National Defence GS, staff officer at the Joint Special Operations Command in National Defence GS as well as staff officer at the Operations’ Directorate of the Hellenic Fleet and the Hellenic Navy General Staff.
Additionally, he has served for 3 years as the Aide de Camp to the President of the Hellenic Republic.
Commodore Stelios Kostalas is a graduate from the Hellenic Supreme Joint War College and he has a Masters degree in Public Administration (MC/MPA) from Harvard University, and a Masters Degree in Statistics from Athens University of Economics & Business. He has also a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from University of the Aegean.
He bears the Gold Cross Phoenix battalion Knight Golden Cross of the Order of Honor Medal of Merit B’ class Navy Force Meritorious Command Medal B’ class, Staff Officer Service Commendation Medal B’ class, Participation in Peace Keeping Operations Commendation Medal, Successful Command – C Class
Commodore Kostalas is married with Maria Kyriakoglou and they have two children, Irene and Marios.
Captain Ertürk Avci TUR (Navy)
DCOM of NMIOTC
– Captain (OF-5) TUR (N) Ertürk AVCI; was born in December 1973, attended the Turkish Naval High School in 1987, joined the Turkish Navy in 1991, and graduated from the Turkish Naval Academy in 1995.
– As a surface warfare officer, during his maritime missions from 1995 to 2012, Captain AVCI assumed a variety of duties, onboard several types of auxiliary and warships; including Bridge Watch Officer, Electronics Officer, Navigation and Operations Officer, and Executive Officer (XO). During these posts, he also participated NATO Active Endeavour, UNIFIL, and NATO Exercises. He was appointed as Commanding Officer (CO) of an amphibious ship (LST) TCG KARAMÜRSELBEY (NL-124) in 2012.
– Between the years of 1995-2017, he was also appointed as; the Head of Operations at VLF Station, the Company Commander of Training Battalion, N3 of Amhibious Task Group and Amhibious Squadrons, Head Instructor & Chief of E&T at Sarucapaşa Naval Surface Training Center. During these assignments, he was also posted to NRF HQ, and NATO Amphibious Operations Working Group (AWG) meetings.
– On August 14th, 2017, he was appointed and assumed the Deputy Commandant (DCOM) of the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Centre (NMIOTC), and as the Senior National Representative (SNR).
– He holds a PG Master Degree in Public Relations (PR), 11 ribbon badges, attended Command and Staff Education Course at the Turkish Naval War College in 2012.
Captain Charalampos Thymis H.N.
COS of NMIOTC
– Captain Charalampos Thymis H.N. was born in Loutraki, Greece on June 23rd 1966. He graduated the Naval Academy with the rank of Ensign in 1988. In addition to staff courses, he attended the Hellenic Supreme Joined War College and the National Defense College.
– During his career he has been appointed as PWO and Operations Officer, Executive Officer and Commanding Officer.
– He also served as Head of Joint Ops Department at HNDGS (2013-2015) and as Director of Ops Directorate of HNGS (2015-2016).
– He was appointed at UNIFIL MAROPS HQ as a staff officer from 2006-2007 and at Embassy of Greece in Spain as Defense Attaché from 2016 till 2018.
– He speaks English and Spanish and he holds “Diploma in Negotiations” from Athens University of Economics & Business.