The Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, Crete
Naval Support Activity (NSA) Souda Bay is a Forward Operating Site (FOS). The U.S. NSA Souda Bay is located on the Hellenic (Greek) Air Force Base by the village of Mouzouras on the island of Crete. NSA is home to the Hellenic Air Force's 115th Combat Wing flying A-7 aircraft. The airfield also serves as the civilian airport for the Hania region of Crete.
Mission of Souda Bay, Crete
The mission of Naval Support Activity, Souda Bay is dedicated to taking care of the fleet and airborne operations in this strategically critical area of the world and to building a new spirit of cooperation with our Greek Allies. For instance, NSA Souda Bay routinely functions as a Naval Operating Base, Naval Air Station and Naval Weapons Station. NSA Souda Bay skillfully orchestrated joint U.S. Navy (USN) / U.S. Air Force (USAF) reconnaissance missions and air refueling support for Operations Desert Shield/Storm, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and other joint USN/USAF and multi-national operations.
As you can see in the picture, a United States military installation on a small island South of Greece hold major strategic value for supporting deploying assets throughout Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
Souda Bay is a small base with limited personnel so it lacks many of the amenities larger U.S. bases have overseas. This is a family member restricted tour but family members may visit during your assignment.
For customs/ immigration, your PCS orders (including NATO travel orders) and military identification card will be required. Civilians must have their passports stamped both on arrival and departure from Greece.
Travel by AMC flight is easiest, but may not always be available. The flight departs Norfolk, VA most weeks of the year. The flight makes a brief stop in Naples, Italy before arrival in Souda Bay, Crete, Greece.
If you travel by commercial carrier you should arrive at the Chania International Airport and will be met by your sponsor outside the baggage claim area.
Security Issues You Should Know
If no one from the command is present, you should call your sponsor, the command Admin department during working hours or the Command Duty Officer (CDO) for assistance upon arrival. You will not gain entrance to the base unless you have obtained base access permission in advance.
Units Assigned to Souda Bay Crete
More than 800 permanently assigned personnel from nine Tenant Commands, including a deployed Seabee detachment, and year-round USAF and Navy operational detachments perform the combined functions of a Naval Operating Base, Naval Air Station, Naval Fueling Station, and Naval Weapons Station.
NSA Souda Bay is comprised of approximately 20 officers, 300 enlisted personnel, 100 U.S civilians, and 200 contractors, both U.S. and local national. NSA Souda Bay consists of the following departments: Administration, Command Support, Chaplain, Comptroller, Fleet and Family Support Center, Legal, MWR, Operations, Public Affairs, Public Works, Safety, Security, Supply, CROF, Information Systems, Fire, Housing, HRO, Emergency Management, and 13 tenant commands.
Some of the Tenant Commands
- Naval Computer and Telecom Area Master Station
- Detachment 1, 95th Reconnaissance Squadron, USAF
- Naval Munitions Command Detachment
- American Forces Network Souda Bay
- Health Clinic
Visiting or Living on Souda Bay Crete
The Command Sponsor Program is one of the most important qualities of life programs for our Sailors and their families.
Bachelor Housing (BH) permanent party accommodations are mandatory for unaccompanied E4 and below. E5 and above military personnel and all civilians live on the economy during their tour. Upon arrival, if there is space available, they will reside temporarily in the Navy Gateway Inns and Suites (NGIS) while seeking housing in town.
The NSA Housing Office maintains a current list of apartments and houses available for rent in the local area. Housing will also assist with your Greek/American housing lease. A supply of U.S. government furniture items and appliances are available for sign out for the period of your tour.
Schools and Day Care
Orders to NSA Souda Bay are unaccompanied for all but six military billets. Civilians may bring families but there are no DoD Schools or Day Care on base. A local school has international classrooms and MAY provide classes for children in kindergarten through 8th grades but only if a sufficient number of children apply. Older children may be able to attend boarding schools in Europe. Parents coming to NSA Souda Bay should plan on providing all care and education for their children themselves.
Branch Health Clinic (BHC) Souda Bay, is a branch clinic of U.S. Naval Hospital (USNH) Sigonella, Italy. Medical services are limited to outpatient care such as sick-call, physical examinations, aviation medicine and primary care. Very limited emergency services are provided.
All emergency, specialized, or inpatient care is provided by Greek civilian medical facilities. Prescription drugs can sometimes be difficult to obtain. Due to size limitations of the pharmacy, those taking prescription medications should obtain the maximum quantity allowed from their Primary Care Manager (PCM) prior to transfer overseas.