Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Visits Souda Bay
Adm. Mark Ferguson, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, visited U.S. Naval Support Activity (NSA) Souda Bay, his first visit since taking command in July.
Ferguson visited Souda Bay to thank Sailors stationed there for supporting forward deployed naval forces and to strengthen the enduring partnership with Hellenic Navy counterparts.
“You represent the United States Navy and the United States to the people of Crete and to Greece. I want to thank you for how you conduct yourselves and how you represent our country,” said Ferguson during an all hands call.
During the all hands call, Ferguson imparted on Sailors the importance of their mission in Souda.
“Souda is an important logistics point to support the ballistic missile defense ships destined to defend Europe and our allies in the region both from a logistics stand point as well as a maintenance and support stand point,” said Ferguson.
He also spoke of the vital support Sailors receive from Hellenic forces that enable the U.S. Navy to operate forward.
“We rely on Souda Bay for supporting our forces forward and we rely on the support and hospitality of the Hellenic Navy, Air Force, the Army and Greek nation for our ability to operate from here, Ferguson said. “They’re vital NATO allies and their support is very important.”
After speaking with Sailors about the role NSA Souda Bay has supporting the warfighter, Ferguson answered questions from Sailors.
“It was great to hear what our senior leadership’s focus is because it helps each of us to look forward toward the bigger picture in our day to day mission,” said Master-At-Arms 1st Class James Bryant. “Maintaining readiness is everyone’s responsibility from the CNO down to the Sailor who just graduated bootcamp. I think Adm. Ferguson’s visit helped bring ‘Operate Forward’ and our support to [operations] to the front of everybody’s mind.”
During his visit, Ferguson also toured the NATO Maritime Interdiction Training Center and met with Vice Adm. Evangelos Apostolakis, chief of the Hellenic Navy General Staff.
U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, headquartered in Naples, Italy, oversees joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.