The U.S. Air Force deployed for the first time its B-52 Stratofortress bomber to Greece, according to Naval Support Activity Souda Bay statement.
“A B-52 Stratofortress bomber was diverted to land Naval Support Activity Souda Bay due to adverse weather at its destination – marking the first time a B-52 landed here,” the service message states.
Naval Support Activity Souda Bay is a major naval base of the Hellenic Navy and NATO at Souda Bay in Crete, Greece. The deployment also includes joint and allied training in Europe to improve bomber interoperability.
Crete Naval Base serves as the second largest (in terms of capacity to harbor combat ships) naval base of the Hellenic Navy and the largest and most prominent naval base for the United States and NATO in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
Additionally, it features the only deepwater port in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean Sea that is suitable and capable of maintaining the largest aircraft carriers (class “supercarriers”). The only other options available for the US Navy are Norfolk Naval Station in the United States and Dubai in the Persian Gulf.
As to the U.S. Air Force, it regularly deploys bomber aircraft to the European theater of operations. Training with partners, allied nations and other U.S. Air Force units contributes to readiness and enables us to build enduring and strategic relationships necessary to confront a broad range of global challenges.