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29 July 2022

From Naval Support Activity Souda Bay Public Affairs

Capt. Odin J. Klug relieved Capt. Rafael C. Facundo as commanding officer of Naval Support Activity Souda Bay during a change of command ceremony, July 29.
Capt. Odin J. Klug relieved Capt. Rafael C. Facundo as commanding officer of Naval Support Activity Souda Bay during a change of command ceremony, July 29.
Rear Admiral Brad Collins, commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Central, served as the presiding officer for the ceremony, which was attended by Chania’s Vice Regional Governor, the Honorable Nikolaos Kalogeris; and Chania’s Mayor, the Honorable Panagiotis Simandirakis; as well as numerous distinguished visitors, Commanders and members of the Hellenic Armed Forces, NSA Souda Bay employees and family members.
Collins, who was the commanding officer of NSA Souda Bay from August 2016 to August 2018, welcomed the guests and members of NSA Souda Bay and said being back in Souda Bay, “truly feels like coming home.”
Collins emphasized that the commanding officer of Souda Bay represents the U.S. Navy in Greece, and that a key responsibility is “continuing to strengthen our incredible maritime partnership with our Hellenic Navy hosts, a partnership vital to our collective defense.”
“Souda Bay represents the hallmark of U.S. - Greek maritime cooperation … The Eastern Mediterranean stands at the nexus of the Black and Red Seas. Nine percent of international shipping travels through these sea lanes to and from the Red Sea. Ensuring the free flow of trade across these choke points provides stability for a free and open market and opportunity for people from around the globe,” Collins said.
Facundo took command in July 2020 and led the installation through the worldwide pandemic. He thanked Team Souda for their expertise, passion and dedication, and said, “It has been a privilege to serve as the commanding officer of Naval Support Activity Souda Bay. Our work is vital … to the security of our nation. Our partnership with our Hellenic Armed Forces counterparts enhances interoperability and readiness. We are better together.”

Upon assuming command, Klug said, “Taking the reins of this amazing installation in such a wonderful country with deep and rich history is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Our American-Greek relationship and partnership has endured not only the time of years past, but the tests of significant world events – turmoil and triumph together. The nation of Greece, and more importantly το νησί της Κρήτης (the island of Crete), is strategically important and vital to our collective national securities. I want to personally say thank you and express my gratitude to our Greek partners and hosts, for everything you have done and continue to do to make NSA Souda Bay as efficient and effective as it is!”
Klug told Team Souda, “… there is something amazing and wonderful that happens when highly motivated units work together as a team.  They achieve something greater, well beyond what an individual teammate can alone. That is what I am excited to bring to bear – to create that same magic for NSA Souda Bay!”

To read this article in Greek, click here.

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