Crete Naval Base

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Crete Naval Base
Ναύσταθμος Κρήτης
Naval Dock Crete-CoA.png
Souda Bay, Crete, Greece
140306-N-MO201-155 (12988816934).jpg
USS Truxtun (DDG 103) departs the Marathi NATO pier facility following a scheduled port visit to Souda Bay, Geece
Crete NB is located in Greece
Crete NB
Crete NB
Location of Crete Naval Base, Greece
Coordinates35°29′46.5″N 24°08′51.5″E / 35.496250°N 24.147639°E / 35.496250; 24.147639 (Crete Naval Base)Coordinates: 35°29′46.5″N 24°08′51.5″E / 35.496250°N 24.147639°E / 35.496250; 24.147639 (Crete Naval Base)
Site information
Owner Greece
Controlled byHellenic Navy Hellenic Navy
Allied Maritime Command (NATO)
Site history
Built byGreek Government
In use1951 – present
Garrison information
Commodore Dimosthenis Helmis
Garrison2nd Branch - DDΜΝ - Hellenic Navy General Staff

Crete Naval Base (Greek: Ναύσταθμος Κρήτης, Nafstathmos Kritis) is a major naval base of the Hellenic Navy and NATO at Souda Bay in Crete, Greece.

Also known as Naval Support Activity Souda Bay,[1] 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.[2][3][4][5] 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.[6]


The Royal Navy during World War II, in Souda Bay

Souda is a naturally protected harbor on the northwest coast of the island of Crete, founded for the first time during the Ottoman period, in 1872.

During World War II and the Battle of Greece, the harbor was the target of an Italian raid against the Allied navy as part of the Mediterranean Campaign.

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.[7] 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).[8]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "NSA Souda Bay". Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Cementing a long-term deal with Greece: Souda Bay gives the U.S. a singulary valuable port in the Eastern Mediterranean". Washington Times. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  3. ^ "Souda Bay US Naval Base 'best in the Med'". Daily Hellas. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Souda Bay Base Anchors NATO Role In Eastern Med". Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  5. ^ "The Expanding Strategic Significance of Souda Bay" (PDF). Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  6. ^ "Speeches and Interviews by Ambassador Geoffrey R. Pyatt". US Embassy at Athens. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  7. ^ Kevin Nice (2003). Ferrell's Confidential Frequency List (13th Edition). PW Publishing Ltd. p. 535. ISBN 1-874110-35-2.
  8. ^ "Nato Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Centre". Archived from the original on 16 June 2009. Retrieved 12 September 2010. (in English) (in Greek)

External links[edit]