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News from CNREURAFCENT

NSA Souda Bay hosts 20th Eco-Challenge Competition

14 September 2023

From Nicholas S. Tenorio

Naval Support Activity Souda Bay hosted the 20th Eco-Challenge, a five-event sports competition held across Crete’s Akrotiri Peninsula on Sept. 9, 2023.
Για να διαβάσετε αυτό το άρθρο στα Ελληνικά, κάντε κλικ εδώ.  To read this article in Greek, click here.

Naval Support Activity Souda Bay hosted the 20th Eco-Challenge, a five-event sports competition held across Crete’s Akrotiri Peninsula on Sept. 9, 2023. The competition included a 10.4-kilometer hike, a 14.5-kilometer run, a 38.5-kilometer cycle, a 4.3-kilometer kayak and a 2,000-meter swim. The outdoor event, organized and executed by NSA Souda Bay’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) team, is designed to build camaraderie and strengthen relationships among U.S., NATO and Hellenic partners.

Competitors affiliated with Navy Support Activity Souda Bay, NATO and Hellenic armed forces take part in a 4-kilometer kayak as part of the 20th Eco-Challenge event hosted by NSA Souda Bay and organized and executed by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation team on Sept. 9, 2023.
Competitors affiliated with Navy Support Activity Souda Bay, NATO and Hellenic armed forces take part in a 4-kilometer kayak as part of the 20th Eco-Challenge event hosted by NSA Souda Bay and organized and executed by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation team on Sept. 9, 2023.
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Competitors take part in a 4-kilometer kayak.
Photo By: Nikolaos Fragos
VIRIN: 230909-O-LW180-9001


“The Eco-Challenge is very symbolic of what we do together with our Greek partners,” said Capt. Odin J. Klug, NSA Souda Bay’s commanding officer who competed in the 2023 Eco-Challenge by completing the 2-kilometer swim. “It truly is a partnership. Not just on the military side, but it spans across diplomacy, it spans across economies, and it spans across this right here: the human connection, the human dynamic, the human interpersonal relationships. You all make the magic happen.”

Eleven teams accepted this year's challenge, including athletes from Commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Central (EURAFCENT); NSA Souda Bay; NATO Maritime Interdiction Training Center (NMIOTC); NATO Missile Firing Installation (NAMFI); Hellenic Naval Base in Souda; and Hellenic Army’s 5th Airborne Brigade.

Rear Adm. Brad J. Collins, commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Central, prepares to compete in a 38.5-kilometer cycle as part of the 20th Eco-Challenge event hosted by NSA Souda Bay and organized and executed by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation team on Sept. 9, 2023.
Rear Adm. Brad J. Collins, commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Central, competes in a 38.5-kilometer cycle.
Rear Adm. Brad J. Collins, commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Central, prepares to compete in a 38.5-kilometer cycle as part of the 20th Eco-Challenge event hosted by NSA Souda Bay and organized and executed by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation team on Sept. 9, 2023.
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Rear Adm. Brad J. Collins, commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Central, competes in a 38.5-kilometer cycle.
Photo By: Nicholas S. Tenorio
VIRIN: 230909-N-YD328-1840

“The competition is fierce, it is every year, but it’s the friendships that last forever,” said Rear Adm. Brad J. Collins, commander, EURAFCENT, who completed the 38.5-kilometer cycle as a member of a team from EURAFCENT. Collins was the commanding officer of NSA Souda Bay from 2016-18 and was participating in his third Eco-Challenge. “We leave the competition on the field, but it’s the friendships from the past and the new friends that we’ve made now: That’s what lasts forever. That’s what draws us back.”

Andreas Markakis, a firefighter assigned to NSA Souda Bay Fire & Emergency Services department, participated in the 14.5-kilometer run as a member of the F&ES team that won first place. Markakis was competing in the event for the sixth time and individually placed second in this year’s run. “Sports unites people,” said Markakis. “This event gives us the opportunity to come together with our families outside of the work place and have a good time. It reminds us that we all share a mission.”

Personnel from Navy Support Activity Souda Bay Fire & Emergency Services receive medals for a first-place finish in the 20th Annual Eco-Challenge event hosted by NSA Souda Bay and organized and executed by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation team on Sept. 9, 2023.
Personnel from Navy Support Activity Souda Bay Fire & Emergency Services receive medals for a first-place finish in the 20th Annual Eco-Challenge event hosted by NSA Souda Bay and organized and executed by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation team on Sept. 9, 2023.
Personnel from Navy Support Activity Souda Bay Fire & Emergency Services receive medals for a first-place finish in the 20th Annual Eco-Challenge event hosted by NSA Souda Bay and organized and executed by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation team on Sept. 9, 2023.
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Personnel from Navy Support Activity Souda Bay Fire & Emergency Services receive medals for a first-place finish in the 20th Annual Eco-Challenge event hosted by NSA Souda Bay and organized and executed by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation team on Sept. 9, 2023.
Photo By: Nicholas S. Tenorio
VIRIN: 230909-N-YD328-3211

Cmdr. Thanos Kournis from the Hellenic Navy Base at Souda Bay participated in this year’s 4.3-kilometer kayak and participated in two previous Eco-Challenge competitions as a swimmer. “This event is about healthy competition and making new friends,” said Kournis. “The bottom line is that those are the things that unite us and make us all equal.”

Competitors affiliated with Navy Support Activity Souda Bay, NATO and Hellenic armed forces take part in a 2-kilometer swim as part of the 20th Eco-Challenge event hosted by NSA Souda Bay and organized and executed by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation team on Sept. 9, 2023.
Competitors affiliated with Navy Support Activity Souda Bay, NATO and Hellenic armed forces take part in a 2-kilometer swim as part of the 20th Eco-Challenge event hosted by NSA Souda Bay and organized and executed by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation team on Sept. 9, 2023.
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Competitors prepare to take part in a 2-kilometer swim.
Photo By: Nikolaos Fragos
VIRIN: 230909-O-LW180-9002

While the event was organized and executed by NSA Souda Bay’s MWR, our Hellenic partners helped make this a safe and successful event. The Hellenic Air Force, Hellenic Coast Guard, Hellenic Navy, and NAMFI all provided direct support that included standby emergency medical personnel, escort vehicles, motor vehicle and boat traffic closures, the use of the NAMFI beach club at Marathi for the award ceremony, and parking and venue security.

Team Results:

1. Fire & Emergency Services, Team 1 (04:47:55)
2. Hellenic Navy Base at Souda Bay (04:59:45)
3. NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Centre (NMIOTC), (05:02:05)

Individual Athlete Awards:

10.4-kilometer hike: Ioannis Charalambidis, Hellenic Navy (01:05:00)
14.5-kilometer run: Georgios Gkolis, 5th Airborne Bridgade (00:59:54)
38.5-kilometer cycle: Andrew Hayne, NMIOTC (01:19:14)
4-kilometer kayak: Anastasios Anagnostopoulos, 5th Airborne Brigade (00:29:47)
2-kilometer swim: Ioannis Tsampanakis, NAMFI (00:32:55)

Competitors affiliated with Navy Support Activity Souda Bay, NATO and Hellenic armed forces take part in a 14.5-kilometer run as part of the 20th Eco-Challenge event hosted by NSA Souda Bay and organized and executed by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation team on Sept. 9, 2023.
Competitors affiliated with Navy Support Activity Souda Bay, NATO and Hellenic armed forces take part in a 14.5-kilometer run as part of the 20th Eco-Challenge event hosted by NSA Souda Bay and organized and executed by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation team on Sept. 9, 2023.
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Competitors take part in a 14.5-kilometer run.
Photo By: Nicholas S. Tenorio
VIRIN: 230909-N-YD328-1309

Competitors affiliated with Navy Support Activity Souda Bay, NATO and Hellenic armed forces take part in a 14.5-kilometer run as part of the 20th Eco-Challenge event hosted by NSA Souda Bay and organized and executed by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation team on Sept. 9, 2023.
Competitors affiliated with Navy Support Activity Souda Bay, NATO and Hellenic armed forces take part in a 14.5-kilometer run as part of the 20th Eco-Challenge event hosted by NSA Souda Bay and organized and executed by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation team on Sept. 9, 2023.
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Competitors take part in a 14.5-kilometer run.
Photo By: Nikolaos Fragos
VIRIN: 230909-O-LW180-9003

Competitors affiliated with Navy Support Activity Souda Bay, NATO and Hellenic armed forces take part in a 10.4-kilometer hike as part of the 20th Eco-Challenge event hosted by NSA Souda Bay and organized and executed by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation team on Sept. 9, 2023.
Competitors affiliated with Navy Support Activity Souda Bay, NATO and Hellenic armed forces take part in a 10.4-kilometer hike as part of the 20th Eco-Challenge event hosted by NSA Souda Bay and organized and executed by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation team on Sept. 9, 2023.
230909-N-YD328-1030
Competitors take part in a 10.4-kilometer hike.
Photo By: Nicholas S. Tenorio
VIRIN: 230909-N-YD328-1030

Competitors affiliated with Navy Support Activity Souda Bay, NATO and Hellenic armed forces take part in a 10.4-kilometer hike as part of the 20th Eco-Challenge event hosted by NSA Souda Bay and organized and executed by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation team on Sept. 9, 2023.
Competitors affiliated with Navy Support Activity Souda Bay, NATO and Hellenic armed forces take part in a 10.4-kilometer hike as part of the 20th Eco-Challenge event hosted by NSA Souda Bay and organized and executed by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation team on Sept. 9, 2023.
230909-N-YD328-1263.
Competitors take part in a 10.4-kilometer hike.
Photo By: Nicholas S. Tenorio
VIRIN: 230909-N-YD328-1263

Competitors affiliated with Navy Support Activity Souda Bay, NATO and Hellenic armed forces take part in a 38.5-kilometer cycle as part of the 20th Eco-Challenge event hosted by NSA Souda Bay and organized and executed by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation team on Sept. 9, 2023.
Competitors affiliated with Navy Support Activity Souda Bay, NATO and Hellenic armed forces take part in a 38.5-kilometer cycle as part of the 20th Eco-Challenge event hosted by NSA Souda Bay and organized and executed by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation team on Sept. 9, 2023.
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Competitors affiliated with Navy Support Activity Souda Bay, NATO and Hellenic armed forces take part in a 38.5-kilometer cycle as part of the 20th Eco-Challenge event hosted by NSA Souda Bay and organized and executed by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation team on Sept. 9, 2023.
Photo By: Nicholas S. Tenorio
VIRIN: 230909-N-YD328-1768

Competitors affiliated with Navy Support Activity Souda Bay, NATO and Hellenic armed forces take part in a 38.5-kilometer cycle as part of the 20th Eco-Challenge event hosted by NSA Souda Bay and organized and executed by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation team on Sept. 9, 2023.
Competitors affiliated with Navy Support Activity Souda Bay, NATO and Hellenic armed forces take part in a 38.5-kilometer cycle as part of the 20th Eco-Challenge event hosted by NSA Souda Bay and organized and executed by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation team on Sept. 9, 2023.
230909-N-YD328-1903
Competitors take part in a 38.5-kilometer cycle.
Photo By: Nicholas S. Tenorio
VIRIN: 230909-N-YD328-1903

Competitors affiliated with Navy Support Activity Souda Bay, NATO and Hellenic armed forces take part in a 4-kilometer kayak as part of the 20th Eco-Challenge event hosted by NSA Souda Bay and organized and executed by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation team on Sept. 9, 2023.
Competitors affiliated with Navy Support Activity Souda Bay, NATO and Hellenic armed forces take part in a 4-kilometer kayak as part of the 20th Eco-Challenge event hosted by NSA Souda Bay and organized and executed by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation team on Sept. 9, 2023.
230909-N-YD328-2430
Competitors take part in a 4-kilometer kayak.
Photo By: Nicholas S. Tenorio
VIRIN: 230909-N-YD328-2430

Competitors affiliated with Navy Support Activity Souda Bay, NATO and Hellenic armed forces take part in a 2-kilometer swim as part of the 20th Eco-Challenge event hosted by NSA Souda Bay and organized and executed by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation team on Sept. 9, 2023.
Competitors affiliated with Navy Support Activity Souda Bay, NATO and Hellenic armed forces take part in a 2-kilometer swim as part of the 20th Eco-Challenge event hosted by NSA Souda Bay and organized and executed by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation team on Sept. 9, 2023.
230909-N-YD328-2863
Competitors take part in a 2-kilometer swim.
Photo By: Nicholas S. Tenorio
VIRIN: 230909-N-YD328-2863


For more photos of this year's Eco-Challenge, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NSASoudaBay

 
 

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