NEWS | Oct. 17, 2019

Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet visits Naval Support Activity Souda Bay

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Drew Verbis, U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

Vice Adm. Lisa M. Franchetti, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, visited Naval Support Activity (NSA) Souda Bay, Greece, Oct. 16, 2019.

Franchetti toured NSA Souda Bay's facilities, which are hosted on board the Hellenic Air Force 115th Combat Air Wing military base. This included a visit to the Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR) detachment, K-14 future logistics facility, NATO Ammo Depot, Mountain Fuel Facility, and a brief with personnel from Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron (VQ) 1, currently assigned to commander, Task Force 67.

"My visit to Souda Bay highlighted our indelible relationship with the Hellenic military and is a great representation of our strong partnership with their navy," said Franchetti. "Through this cooperation, Souda Bay provides a strategic base from which we support forward-deployed operations in the Mediterranean, Red, and Black Seas." 

Capt. Ryan T. Tewell, commanding officer, NSA Souda Bay, accompanied Franchetti.

"We work very closely with our NATO and Hellenic military partners and those relationships allow us to accomplish our mission here in Souda Bay," said Tewell. "Visiting with the Greek military leadership, like we did today, helps strengthen the already solid relationship that exists between our two nation's militaries."

Franchetti hosted an all-hands call with Sailors and aviation personnel of VQ 1. This squadron is composed of land-based maritime patrol aircraft operating in support of EUCOM and AFRICOM. EP-3 aircraft are the signals intelligence variant of the P-3 and specialize in intelligence collection to provide battlespace awareness to fleet and joint forces.

"Your squadron, its pilots, naval flight officers, air crew, and staff provide the background and operational decision-making space for commanders to make informed decisions," Franchetti said during the all hands call. "Winning the fight requires well-maintained equipment and properly trained and proficient Sailors; in front of me I can see both. Your service here is making a difference, and we need you out here on the tip of the spear in this dynamic security environment."

NSA Souda Bay is an operational ashore base that enables U.S., allied, and partner nation forces to be where they are needed and when they are needed to ensure security and stability in Europe and Africa.

"Team Souda works hard every day to provide superior support to the U.S. 6th Fleet as it operates here in the Eastern Mediterranean," said Tewell. "It was great hosting Vice Adm. Franchetti and her team today so they could see firsthand the capabilities we have to support fleet missions and to visualize the support we'll be capable of providing in the future." 

U.S. 6th 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.