The U.S. Naval Support Activity (NSA) Souda Bay is located on Crete, Greece on the Hellenic (Greek) Air Force Base near the village of Mouzouras, 17 kilometers (approximately 10 miles) east of the city of Hania. NSA occupies an area of approximately 110 acres on the north side of the air base, which is home of the Hellenic Air Force's 115th Combat Wing flying F-16 aircraft. We are physically located on the large, circular shaped Akrotiri Peninsula, which forms the northern face of the Souda Harbor.
From the late 1950's through the 1960's Advance Aviation Base (AVB) ships were frequently deployed to Souda Bay. The positioning of these AVB ships was the first step taken by the U.S. Navy in supporting forward deployed Sixth fleet units from this Eastern Mediterranean island. These ships were designed to provide fuel, spare parts, technicians and facilities necessary to establish and operate an airstrip for patrol and carrier aircraft in locations where there were no base facilities. U.S. Naval Detachment, Souda Bay was commissioned on 28 May 1969. At that time a sixteen personnel complement, under the command of a First Class Petty Officer, made up the entire detachment. On 1 October 1980, U.S. Naval Detachment, Souda Bay was disestablished and U.S. Naval Support Activity, Souda Bay, Crete, Greece was established. For more information, visit the Souda Bay homepage.
At the U.S. Naval Support Activity, Souda Bay, "SUPPORT" is literally our middle name. Our presence is dedicated to taking care of the fleet and airborne operations in this strategically critical area of the world, which is our primary mission, and to building a new spirit of cooperation with our Greek Allies. 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.
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.
Transportation to/from NSA Souda Bay is extremely limited. It is highly recommended that you ship your vehicle to Souda Bay. There is taxi service available to/from the base to all local areas. There is no bus service regularly available. There is normally a shuttle running to/from the base to designated housing areas in the Akrotiri. The shuttle runs once in the morning and once after work. Please note that you may only bring one vehicle, not a car and a motorcycle both. If you do bring a motorcycle instead of a car, you will be able to drive it only if your state drivers license is endorsed for motorcycle use.
You will be assigned a sponsor who will contact you to answer any questions you may have. Please be sure to notify your sponsor of your expected arrival date so that they will be available to meet you at the air terminal or civilian airport when you arrive. If the sponsor is unable to meet you, someone else from the appropriate department will be there to meet you. While en route to Souda Bay you may have your mail forwarded to the command. Please visit the Souda Bay homepage to request a sponsor.
Bachelor Housing (BH) permanent party accommodations are mandatory for unaccompanied E4 and below. E4 and below personnel will be assigned a permanent party room immediately upon arrival. 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 aggressively seeking housing on the economy. Reservations for the NGIS should be made in advance by calling DSN 314-266-1601/02, or 011-30-282-102-1601/02, or faxing your request to DSN 314-266-1193 or 011-30-282-102-1193.
Oftentimes, your sponsor will make these reservations for you. If there is not a room available in the NGIS, you will be provided a Certificate of Non-Availability (CNA) allowing authorization to make alternative reservations in an approved local temporary lodging facility. The NSA Souda Bay NGIS does not accept pets and bringing pet(s) does not automatically entitle one to seek accommodations at a hotel on the economy. Reservations at a local temporary lodging facility cannot be made without prior approval from the BH Manager or Housing Director.
Please note: a Certificate of Non-Availability (CNA) will be required prior to reservations being made at alternate hotels on the economy. Failure to abide by the reservations and/or lodging procedures can result in the non-payment or reduced payment of temporary lodging allowance (TLA).
All individuals living on the economy will be supplied with appliances (oven/stove, refrigerator, freezer, electrical transformer, washer, dryer, microwave) to be utilized for the entire length of your tour. Single service members who have not shipped personal items will be loaned furniture (beds, nightstands, dressers, sofa, armchairs, end tables, lamps, coffee table, dining table and dining chairs) for the length of their tour. Others may borrow these furniture items for up to 90 days until household goods arrive.
Fleet and Family Support Center has a loan closet with all kitchen essentials including pots and pans, dishes, and utensils. These items can be borrowed for one month or until your express shipment arrives, whichever comes first.
Incoming personnel attend both a two-day check-in brief and a week long orientation class which provide information on command services, policies, and Greek culture and customs as well as a tour of the local community.
Critical Installation Information
Medical and Dental Services
Branch Health Clinic (BHC) Souda Bay, is a branch clinic of U.S. Naval Hospital (USNH) Sigonella, Italy and is staffed to meet the needs of active duty personnel. Medical services are limited to outpatient care such as sick-call, physical examinations, aviation medicine and primary care. Very limited emergency services are provided. There is only one physician and limited other staff. There is no X-ray or diagnostic laboratory capability. Because of these limitations, 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 our pharmacy, those taking prescription medications should obtain the maximum quantity allowed from their Primary Care Manager (PCM) prior to transfer overseas.
Household Goods and Unaccompanied Baggage
The Greek Government is very strict on the importation and exportation of controlled items. Controlled items include, but are not limited to, all electrical items, cameras, watches, bicycles, furniture items, firearms, metal detectors, televisions, VCRs, stereo equipment, appliances, and scuba equipment. It is important these items be identified by type of item, model no., and serial no. on your Household Goods (HHG)/Unaccompanied Baggage (UB) inventory sheets when you pack out your possessions for shipment to Greece. By direction of the Base CO, members are not authorized to bring any firearms into Greece.
Base Access Required
The NSA Souda Bay is located on the Hellenic (Greek) Air Force Base. As a result, if you are arriving via commercial flight or ferry you must obtain base access permission prior to reporting to NSA Souda Bay. If you arrive via AMC flight, base access in advance of your arrival is NOT necessary but you will need to obtain access before leaving the base in order to come back on. If arriving by commercial air or ferry, it is absolutely essential that you inform your sponsor of your anticipated arrival date so that base access can be arranged for you in advance. You will have extreme difficulty accessing the base from outside the gate without base access. This is true even if you have a military ID card and orders in your possession.
Arrival by AMC Flight
Travel by AMC flight is easiest, but may not always be available. The (Category B) flight departs Norfolk, VA every other week throughout the year. The flight makes a brief stop in Lajes (Azores, Portugal) then Naples
(Italy) before arrival in Souda Bay, Crete, Greece. After arrival, you (and your sponsor) will proceed to the NSA billeting office for your temporary lodging assignment. The billeting office is located back from the main road
across the street from the NEX - about a 7 minute walk from the air terminal.
Arrival by Commercial Flight
If you travel by commercial carrier you should plan to bring Euro along with you on the trip. You should arrive at the Chania International Airport and will be met by your sponsor outside the baggage claim area. You must inform your sponsor of your arrival time and flight information in advance. If no one from the command is present, you should call your sponsor, the command Admin department during working hours (28210-21667) or the Command Duty Officer (CDO) (697-207-9832) for assistance upon arrival. There are normally taxis outside the commercial airport. You will not gain entrance to the base unless you have obtained base access permission in advance. If you have problems at the gate you should contact the Admin Department or the CDO.
Athens Airport Customs/Immigration
For customs/ immigration your PCS orders (including NATO travel orders) and military identification card will be required if you transit through the civilian air terminal in Athens. Civilians must have their passports stamped both on arrival and departure from Greece.
Travel to Greece
Passports are not required for active duty Navy personnel reporting on orders, but highly recommended if you anticipate taking leave in theater during your tour. If you do not have a passport, you should have your PCS orders (including NATO travel orders) and military identification card ready as you transit through any airport outside the United States and must present these documents at customs. Passports/visas are required for family members. This is a family member restricted tour but family members may visit during your assignment. Civilian attire is mandatory for travel to and from Greece on Air Mobility Command (AMC) flights and commercial flights. Currently there are bi-weekly flights from Naval Air Station (NAS) Norfolk, Virginia to NSA Souda Bay and return. Family members may visit Greece only for 90 days per Greek law. After 90 days, he/she must exit the country for at least 90 days before returning. If family is planning a visit, please see Admin to get a Page 13 which explains specific restrictions before booking travel.
Move-In Housing Allowance (MIHA) is a one time allowance used to ease the financial burden of moving into economy quarters. It helps to defray the costs of additional cabinets, light fixtures, and various other items for your home. Allowance is not offered to personnel who choose to live in government quarters.
Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA) is a variable allowance that fluctuates with the price of the Euro. OHA changes very often due to the fluctuating exchange rate.
Overseas Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) is a supplement designed to equalize purchasing power between members overseas and their CONUS-based counterparts. COLA rates change very often due to the fluctuating exchange rate.
The Housing Welcome Center offers Housing Referral services to include showings, lease negotiation, mediation, temporary loaner furnishings, and liaison services with local utility companies. The liaison service includes translation assistance regarding all areas pertaining to housing. Whether you use the housing office showing services or those of a private realtor, you are mandated to use the housing office for the signing of your lease in order to receive all your entitlements.
You must report to the housing office within 48 hours of your arrival. You are authorized 30 days of Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA) per local instruction, commencing on your arrival date. You are mandated to go on showing runs weekly in order to receive your TLA. The housing department has a large supply of houses and apartments for lease in the local area and you should be able to find a home, sign a lease and move-in with the 30 day period.
All individuals living on the economy will be supplied with appliances (oven/stove, refrigerator, freezer, electrical transformer, washer, dryer, microwave) to be utilized for the entire length of your tour. Single service members who have not shipped personal items will be loaned furniture (beds, nightstands, dressers, sofa, armchairs, end tables, lamps, coffee table, dining table and dining chairs) for the length of their tour. Others may borrow these furniture items for up to 90 days until household goods arrive. In addition, Fleet and Family Support Center has all of the kitchen essentials which individuals can borrow until receipt of household goods.
Bachelor Quarters are mandatory for E-4 and below. Permanent party rooms come equipped with microwave and refrigerator in addition to normal furnishings. Storage space in rooms is limited, so you should only bring items you really need. A full sea bag is required. There is no private or public storage available.
There is no quarantine for bringing pets into Greece. EU Pet Passports are recommended as the means to verify required microchip, innoculations, other shots, and good health. Pets are not allowed in government temporary lodging or bachelor housing. There are English-speaking veterinarians in the local community and the veterinarian from Sigonella visits on a quarterly basis.
Children and Youth
Orders to NSA Souda Bay are unaccompanied for all but six military billets. Civilians may bring families but the base has no dedicated Child and Youth program nor is there easily accessible child care or a dedicated school in the community. 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.
Defense Service Network (DSN) Dialing Instructions
The DSN is the provider of long-distance communications service for the Department of Defense (DoD). Every installation has a special DSN number and the numbers vary by world-wide location. In order to place a call using DSN, the caller must be using a military phone on an installation. Cell phones cannot dial DSN numbers. When dialing a DSN number from a United States installation to another United States installation, it is unnecessary to dial the DSN 312 area code. When dialing a DSN number to/from overseas locations, the DSN area code must be included. The operator can be reached at commercial (719) 567-1110. Please note that long distance charges may be incurred.
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