SOUDA BAY –
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and other Greek officials visited the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, flagship of the IKE Carrier Strike Group, during a scheduled port visit in Souda Bay, Greece, March 23, 2021.
Ambassador Geoffrey R. Pyatt, U.S. Ambassador to Greece, and Adm. Robert P. Burke, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa met the Greek delegation aboard the aircraft carrier to continue to build the steadfast partnership between the U.S and Greece.
"Hosting the Prime Minister of Greece, the American Ambassador to Greece and leaders of the Hellenic Armed Forces was an absolute privilege and fantastic opportunity to thank our generous hosts and friends for an incredible visit,” said Capt. Paul Campagna, commanding officer, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). “My favorite moment was viewing the fleet landing area from the fight deck, where local businesses were able to sell food and merchandise to Sailors from the IKE Strike Group during a well-earned break from operations with NATO forces in the Mediterranean. All our guests were impressed with the complex operations and maintenance that young Sailors accomplish every day at sea.”
The visit follows the IKE CSG conducting maritime interoperability exercises with the Hellenic Naval forces and represents the strong strategic relationship of the United States’ presence in Europe for over 70 years – built upon a foundation of shared values, experiences and beliefs.
“Souda is the crown jewel of our defense cooperation, and the support that Greece provides is indispensable to the American security presence in Eastern Mediterranean where I’m particularly proud to see the IKE Strike Group,” said Ambassador Geoffrey R. Pyatt, U.S. Ambassador to Greece. “This visit and the opportunities it has provided for our forces to work together reflect the convergence of interests between our countries as well as the democratic values that bind us together, especially noteworthy this week as we celebrate the Greek bicentennial. I know I speak for President Biden and the whole administration in underlining our enduring commitment to the U.S.-Greece alliance and our resolve now to take this relationship to an even higher level.”
The U.S. considers Greece to be a pillar of stability in the east Mediterranean region and continues to develop closer cooperation with Greece at all levels. Greece is a vital NATO Ally, showing a commitment to regional peace and stability.
Greece, hosts U.S. Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, enabling U.S., Allied, and partner nation forces to operate and transit in and across the critical sea lanes of the Mediterranean Sea.
Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group is a multiplatform team of ships, aircraft and more than 5,000 Sailors, capable of carrying out a wide variety of missions around the globe.
Deploying ships and aircraft of the strike group, commanded by Rear Adm. Scott Robertson, include flagship USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69); the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61); Destroyer Squadron 22 ships include Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Mitscher (DDG 57), USS Laboon (DDG 58), USS Mahan (DDG 72), and USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116).
Squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3, embarked on Eisenhower include the "Fighting Swordsmen" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 32, "Gunslingers" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 105, "Wildcats" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131, "Rampagers" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 83; "Dusty Dogs" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 7; "Swamp Foxes" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 74; "Screwtops" of Airborne Command and Control Squadron (VAW) 123; "Zappers" of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 130, and a detachment from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 "Rawhides."
NSA Souda Bay is an operational ashore base that enables U.S., allied, and partner nation forces to be where they are needed when they are needed to ensure security and stability in Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia.
U.S. Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.