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The History of United States Naval Support Activity Souda Bay

Images of Chania Greece

The U. S. Naval Support Activity Souda Bay is located on a Hellenic (Greek) Air Force Base by the village of Mouzouras 17 kilometers east of the city of Chania.  NSA Souda Bay occupies an area of approximately 110 acres on the North side of the air base, which is the home of the Hellenic Air Force 115th Combat Wing.  The airfield also serves as the civilian airport for the Chania region of Crete.  However, the civilian terminal is located at the opposite end of the runway and is not within walking distance. 

NSA Souda Bay is physically located on the large circular shaped Akrotiri Peninsula, which forms the northern face of the Souda harbor.  A Hellenic Naval Base occupies a large portion of both the north and south coast of the Souda Bay harbor along with the port village of Souda.

U. S. Naval Detachment, Souda Bay was commissioned May 28, 1969.  At that time, a sixteen-personnel complement, under the command of a First Class Petty Officer, made up the entire detachment.  As time passed and the detachment expanded, the installation personnel count rose to 93 enlisted personnel and three officers as of Aug.1, 1972.  The following departments/activities comprised NAVDET Souda Bay: Mobile Mine Assembly Group Detachment SIX; Naval Communication Station, Greece Detachment; Naval Inshore Warfare Task Unit, Europe; and Naval Weather Service Environmental Detachment.

The mission of NAVDET Souda Bay was to maintain and operate facilities providing base support for U.S. naval forces operating in the Mediterranean, including transient, temporary and permanently based ships, aircraft, units, detachments and personnel during normal and contingency operations.  NAVDET Souda Bay was itself a detachment of Naval Air Facility Sigonella, Sicily and was under the operational administrative control of Commander Fleet Air, Mediterranean, Naples, Italy.

In 1973, an installation build-up program commenced Two eight-room Bachelor Officers Quarters, and four eight-room Bachelor Enlisted Quarters, a workshop, a sickbay and supporting utilities were projects undertaken and nearly completed at the end of that year.  On Oct. 1, 1980, NAVDET Souda Bay was disestablished and U.S. NSA Souda Bay, Crete, Greece was established.

Today, NSA Souda Bay is comprised of approximately 650 commissioned and enlisted personnel and approximately 250 U.S. and local national civilians and contractors.  It takes dedicated and professional people to provide the wide-range of support required of the mission.  Whether an NSA Souda Bay department or a tenant command, the close-work relationship makes for seamless support and is the foundation for the phrase, “Team Souda.”


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