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Crete Naval Base
Ναύσταθμος Κρήτης
Part of NATO (MARCOM)
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
Coordinates Latitude:
Longitude:
Built 1951
In use 1951–present
Current
owner
Greece
Controlled by North Atlantic Treaty Organization / Hellenic Navy
Garrison 2nd Branch - DDΜΝ - Hellenic Navy General Staff
Current
commander
Commodore Dimosthenis Helmis

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 the Souda Bay Naval Base, it serves as the largest and most prominent naval base for the United States and NATO in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.[1][2][3][4] 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, making it of vital importance for the broader security in the region, with the only other such options available for the US Navy being Norfolk in the United States and Dubai in the Persian Gulf.[5]

History[edit | edit source]

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 the 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.

Facilities[edit | edit source]

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.[6] 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).[7]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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