About 1.5 km before the entrance to the core of our National Park, we meet the military installations with the famous radars of Ainos. To be precise, of course, these are not just radars, but antennas that were part of a large NATO project called “ACE High” and aimed at safe and direct communication between the countries of the alliance during the Cold War.
The project was designed and implemented in the period 1956-1960 and included in its initial phase 82 bases in 9 European countries. In Greece, except for Cephalonia, similar facilities were created in Penteli, Pelion, Ziros Lassithi on Mount Vitsi on the border of Kastoria – Florina and on Mount Ismaros in Rodopi. In 1965, the construction of another antenna system was completed in Englouvi of our neighboring Lefkada, in order to further facilitate telecommunications, mainly between NATO bases in Greece and Italy.
As we found out from a quick internet research, the system of these bases actually took advantage of the phenomenon of the so-called modular diffusion of radio waves, in order to create communication channels over long distances. Today, of course, this technology is obsolete and has been replaced by satellite systems and the internet.
The NATO base of Ainos, where many Kefalonians, including our fellow villagers, served their military service, operated under the responsibility of the Air Force and completed its cycle in November 1995. Since then, its state-of-the-art facilities beauty, were left to their fate, presenting, as can be seen in the photos we publish, a really disappointing picture.
To be honest, we do not know the exact ownership status of the facilities, nor whether any attempts have been made to exploit them in the past. In any case, however, we consider it imperative to take advantage of the area with the wonderful view, as its proximity to the National Park of Ainos make it ideal for creating a structure of educational, environmental and cultural activities. Either from the Forest Management Body in the context of the imminent creation of the Kefalonia Geopark and the Dark Sky Park, or from the local government. Without the relevant interest, the space could even be turned into an amusement park with equestrian facilities, escape rooms, climbing towers, a paintball or laser tag track and restaurants,
Our building heritage is undoubtedly an integral part of our history and we must treat it with respect. At the same time, however, we must use it in ways that create multiplier benefits for the local economy and society. There are many ways. As long as there is the corresponding will!