The importance of Greece’s geostrategic location to U.S. interests in the Eastern Mediterranean has been more evident recently as Greek ports have been buzzing with activity— namely, massive American Navy vessels carrying thousands of soldiers.
In the past few weeks alone, numerous vessels including the amphibious destroyer USS Wasp and the guided-missile destroyer USS Stout have both visited Souda Bay, in Western Crete, the port of the city of Hania.
Sailors onboard the Wasp are actually getting a break after being at sea for the past four months. Jets aboard the ship have been conducting strikes against the Islamic State in Libya.
“We have traveled more than 22,000 miles, performed more than 4,500 aircraft launches and recoveries and successfully completed over a dozen replenishments at sea with no mishaps. It has been challenging, but I couldn’t be prouder of every Sailor and Marine onboard this ship,” Capt. Andrew Smith, the Wasp’s commanding officer, said in a statement.
Another vessel called the USS Carney was also in Souda Bay just prior to the arrival of the Wasp. The Carney is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe, according to a U.S. Navy statement.
Meanwhile, a few hundred miles north, the U.S. 6th Fleet command and control ship USS Mount Whitney arrived in Piraeus for a scheduled port visit, October 24.
The Mount Whitney is currently operating in the Mediterranean Sea, working with allies and regional partners of the United States to help develop and improve maritime forces, maintain regional security, and work towards mutual goals in order to advance security and stability in Europe.