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Greece Plans to Build New Naval Base at Souda, Crete

File photo. Credit: Hellenic Navy

Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos announced on Monday that the country is planning to build a second naval base at Souda, in Crete.

As the minister explained, the new port aspires to accommodate ships and submarines of the Greek fleet on a permanent basis.

“Greece must acquire a naval base in Crete equivalent to the Salamis naval base. This will be done by upgrading our facilities at Souda to strengthen our presence in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Panagiotopoulos told parliament.

He added that the new base would be part of the government’s plan for enhancing the capabilities of the armed forces.

He did not specify the timetable for the construction of the new base.

On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, during his visit to Souda Naval Base also in Crete, announced that the base would become the new home for the giant vessel the USS Hershel “Woody” Williams.

The ship, which has the capacity for four helicopters on its flight deck, can launch unmanned assets, and includes command and control systems, will substantially increase the American military presence in Greece.

Analysts say that the US move could be construed as a symbolic show of support for Greece in its tense standoff with Turkey.

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