Crete Naval Base
|Crete Naval Base|
|Part of NATO (MARCOM)|
|Souda Bay, Crete, Greece|
USS Truxtun (DDG 103) departs the Marathi NATO pier facility following a scheduled port visit to Souda Bay, Geece
|Controlled by|| Hellenic Navy|
Allied Maritime Command (NATO)
|Built by||Greek Government|
|In use||1951 – present|
|Commodore Dimosthenis Helmis|
|Garrison||2nd Branch - DDΜΝ - Hellenic Navy General Staff|
Also known as Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, and more commonly as the Souda Bay Naval Base (Greek: Ναυτική Βάση Σούδας, Naftiki Vasi Soudas), it serves as the second largest (in numbers of battleships harboured) naval base of the Hellenic Navy and the largest and most prominent naval base for the United States and NATO in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Additionally, it features the only deep water port in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean Sea that is suitable and capable of maintaining the largest aircraft carriers (class "supercarriers"). The only other such options available for the US Navy are Norfolk Naval Station in the United States and Dubai in the Persian Gulf.
After the war, the naval base was founded, around the same period with Greece's entry into the North Atlantic Alliance.
The Naval Base of Souda Bay occupies an area of 500 hectares, including the old artillery barracks of Army's 5th Infantry Division and later land acquisitions. The facilities include a dry dock, workshops, a fuel depot and an ammunition depot. The Naval Station is commanded by a Commodore or Captain of the Hellenic Navy. The Forward Logistics Site Souda Bay (FLS Souda Bay) was under the operational control of NATO's Allied Naval Forces Southern Europe (COMNAVSOUTH), until 2013. Since then, it is under the control of the Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) which replaced NAVSOUTH. The Hellenic Navy radio communications station SXH is also located since 1929 at Mournies, near Souda. The Κ-14, a deep-water quay, is the only of its kind in the Mediterranean Sea that allows the aircraft carriers to dock.
Since 2007, the Souda Bay naval base is host of the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Centre (ΝMIOTC), which is located at the Northern Sector of the base (Marathi).
The American aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) sails out of the Souda Bay harbor in Crete, Greece, following a four-day port visit to Greece's largest island.
The Naval Support Activity Souda Bay's Security Department soldiers stand a security watch in front of the French aircraft carrier FS Charles DeGaulle (R 91) as it docks at the Marathi NATO pier facility in Souda Bay.
A Hellenic navy special operations forces instructor, right, conducts small arms training with U.S. Sailors aboard the Hellenic navy training ship Aris (A-74) at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Centre in Souda Bay, Crete
Nike-Hercules firing at NAMFI by 220 Squadron RNLAF, from Souda Bay, Greece
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- NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Centre
- U.S. Naval Support Activity Souda Bay Official's photostream