Salamis Naval Base

Salamis Naval Base

The Salamis Naval Base or Naval Dock Salamis (Greek: Ναύσταθμος Σαλαμίνας) is the largest Greek naval base. It is located close to the major population centre of Athens and Piraeus and occupies an area at the Northeast of Salamis Island (Cape Arapis) and an area in Amphiali and Skaramaga, across the sea channel which connects the Gulf of Elefsis to Saronic Gulf.

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The Naval Base area includes the islets "Leros" and "Aghios Georgios".

Most Hellenic Navy ships are based at Salamis, as well as many of its administrative, training and support services. The Naval Base employs approximately 10.000 naval and civilian personnel.

History

The first organized Greek Naval Base during the Greek War of Independence (1821 Revolution) was founded on Hydra Island in 1827 and soon after was relocated to Poros. [cite web | url=http://www.hellenicnavy.gr/ddmn/dioikiseis.html | accessdate=2008-07-07 | title=Hellenic Navy Logistics Command | language=Greek ] It remained there until 1881 and the facility is still used today for naval personnel training.

Between January 1878 and April 1881 certain activities were transferred from Poros Naval Base to Faneromeni Monastery (coord|37|59|00|N|23|26|10|E) and its surrounding area, on Salamis Island.

On April 16, 1881 it was decided by Royal Decree to build the new Naval Base in Salamis, at a location then called "Arapi", near "Akra (Cape) Arapis", where the Navy acquired an area of approximately 300 hectares [In the Greek texts the area is stated as 3000 "Greek stremmata"] . Most of the land was donated by the Municipality of Salamis, which saw the construction of the naval base as an opportunity for employment, real estate development and business profit. The construction of the new base began in 1881 and gradually naval activities were transferred to the new buildings from Poros and Faneromeni Monastery. One of the fist buildings was the church of Saint Nikolaos (1882).

The new Naval Base was used intensively during the Balkan Wars, the First World War and the Second World War. A suburban standard gauge tramline opened in 1936, connecting downtown Piraeus with Perama and terminating inside the Naval Base at Amphiali. The tramline remained in use until 1977.

During the Second World War the naval base was occupied by the Germans and used for naval activities, including submarine operations. The Germans retreated in 1944, after causing extensive damage to the installations. In addition the sea channel was blocked by a number of naval ships sunk by the Luftwaffe in 1941, including the decommissioned battleships Limnos and Kilkis.

Cleanup, salvage and reconstruction work began in November 1944 and the facilities were gradually restored to operational condition. Salamis Naval Base is in continuous use by the Hellenic Navy ever since, while a second major naval base was constructed at Souda Bay.

tructure and activities

Salamis Naval Base belongs to the "Hellenic Navy Logistics Command". It consists of the Headquarters and the following services: [cite web | url=http://www.hellenicnavy.gr/shipyards_salaminas.asp | title=Naval Dock Salamis | language=Greek | publisher=Hellenic Navy | accessdate=2008-07-07]

* Ship movements, docks, jetties and base security
* Salamis Naval Hospital (ΝΝΣ)
* General procurement and supplies service (ΝΣ/ΔΕ)
* Fuels supply service (ΝΣ/ΔΚ)
* Naval infrastructure section (ΝΣ/ΔΝΕΡ)
* Naval weapons service (ΝΣ/ΔΝΟ)
* Chemical Laboratory (ΝΣ/ΔΝΧ)
* Financial section (ΝΣ/ΔΟΥ)
* Technical section (ΝΣ/ΔΤ)

The following commands of the Fleet Headquarters are also based within Salamis Naval Base: [cite web | url=http://www.hellenicnavy.gr/organisation2_en.asp | title=Hellenic Navy Structure | language=Greek | publisher=Hellenic Navy | accessdate=2008-07-07]

* Hellenic Command Frigates
* Hellenic Command Fast Boats
* Hellenic Command Gun Boats
* Hellenic Command Mine Sweepers
* Hellenic Command Amphibious Forces
* Hellenic Command Submarines
* Underwater Demolition Command

Other naval units in the base area include:

* "Palaskas" Training Centre
* Amphiali Heliport, LGAM [cite journal | journal=Πτήση & Διάστημα (Flight & Space) | title=A mission with Aegean Hawks | Month=November | year=1996 | author=E. Kapetanakis, E. Daloumis, K. Lakafosis | issue=126 | language=Greek] [cite web | url=http://www.scramble.nl/gr.htm | title=Hellenic Navy | author=Piet Luijken | publisher= [http://www.scramble.nl Scramble] Dutch aviation society | accessdate=2008-07-08]

In addition, the Forward Operating Naval Bases of Skyros and Chalkidiki are controlled by Salamis Naval Base. [cite web | url=http://www.hellenicnavy.gr/ddmn/dioikiseis.html | accessdate=2008-07-07 | title=Hellenic Navy Logistics Command | language=Greek ]

Relations with local communities

Salamis Naval Base has established close ties with the local community. The base is a major employer for the islanders and regularly subcontracts ship maintenance to local business establishments in Salamis, Perama, Keratsini and Dreapetsona. In addition it provides the local community with health services (the islanders were served by the naval hospital), vocational training for young persons and reinforcement to the national and municipal emergency services (fire and ambulance).

Notes and References

ee also

* Hellenic Navy
* List of Greek military bases

Further reading

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*: A rare air photo of the Straits of Salamis with part of the Naval Base. Photographic pictures of the base are uncommon, as protography is strictly prohibited and access to the seafront is restricted to naval personnel only.

*: An air photo of the Straits of Salamis, with the naval base shown faintly at the background.

*: Three German Army pictures by Franz Selinger, dated 1941, showing war damage to Salamis Naval Base.


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