SOUDA BAY, Greece (NNS) -- Naval Support Activity (NSA) Souda Bay, Greece, marked the completion of a portion of their airfield project Aug. 3 with an all-hands Foreign Object Debris (FOD) walkdown.
Unused areas received a $13 million upgrade, which took less than two years to complete and included the expansion of the aircraft parking apron, construction of a Liquid Oxygen (LOX) storage facility, and the construction of a new Combat Aircraft Loading Area (CALA) pad. This project enables the airfield to meet the current and future requirements of the Department of Defense and U.S. Navy.
"This project expands NSA Souda Bay Air Operations' capacity to fully support operations from this strategically important location," said NSA Souda Bay Operations Officer Lt. Cmdr. Christopher Judkins. "It also supports DoD, NATO and the host nation by increasing parking capacity while decreasing critical disruptions to civil aviation operations."
According to Judkins, the improvement has expanded parking capacity by five C-17 aircraft, upgraded the in-ground fuel delivery system, constructed an explosives handling apron that meets DoD and NATO safety standards, as well as created a proper LOX storage area.
The increased parking availability is of great benefit, according to Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 1st Class Jose Rodriguez, assigned to NSA Souda Bay Air Operations Department Transient Line Division.
According to Rodriguez, "the added capacity has greatly increased the location's available aircraft parking opportunities." This allows for a better workflow for the aviation boatswain's mates assigned to the Transient Line Division.
"We now have adequate parking to support the various aircraft types and models that use Souda Bay as a transient stop or a basing location," said Rodriguez, who also believes the added flexibility "will eliminate the frequencies in towing aircraft from one parking spot to another."
"All of this work was completed without interruption to airfield operations," said Judkins. "As a matter of fact, during this construction project, Air Operations Department has handled 8,345 aircraft, 2,718 tons of cargo, and 31,308 passengers in support of three geographic Combatant Commands (U.S. European Command, U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Central Command), and three functional U.S. Central Commands (Transportation Command, Strategic Command and Special Operations Command)."
He also mentioned accolades were necessary as "this was only possible through the hard work and dedication of all the Sailors and civilians that make up NSA Souda Bay."
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