USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) Sailors Volunteer in Crete, Greece > United States Navy > News-Tales

The primary COMREL included work on the Souda Shelter Undertaking, an area canine shelter, constructing canine beds out of wood pallets, socializing with the canines and ridding the world of overgrown weeds on Feb. 4.

“I feel it’s nice to have COMRELS as a result of we are able to proceed to construct relationships and foster partnerships by group engagement,” stated Operations Specialist 1st Class Heather Karel. “It feels good to know that our assist goes to an excellent place. I’ve a canine myself, so it actually introduced that warm-fuzzy feeling of being again at residence.”

The Souda Shelter Undertaking is an animal welfare facility that presently homes over 90 deserted or stray canines, caring for them till they’re discovered houses world wide.

“It’s a large pleasure for me to host volunteer packages like this for our service members,” stated Souda Shelter Undertaking Administrator Elizabeth Iliakis. “Having them right here to allow them to decompress and get away from every part else exterior is the perfect, they usually have been very productive for us. That is exhausting work that will take us a few weeks to finish, however they will do it in just some hours. It’s a win-win state of affairs for everybody – together with the canines!”

For the second COMREL, USS Leyte Gulf Sailors braved the chilly and rain to select oranges at an natural orange grove and donated them to the Chania Municipality Group Help Market an institution that helps group members in want of help, on Feb. 6.

“It jogs my memory of what beneficiant souls People can have,” stated Orange Grove Proprietor Mary Olsen. “They’re amassing some for themselves, however multiply the quantity they acquire for themselves by 10 and that’s what number of they are going to be donating to the locals in want. That’s actually America at its greatest. Watching this occur because it rains – properly their enthusiasm will not be dampened, so to talk.”

In complete, 20 USS Leyte Gulf Sailors participated within the two COMRELS strengthening the optimistic relationship between the individuals of Crete, Greece, and our U.S. Navy Sailors.

“It is a nice expertise for our Sailors,” stated Lt. Chris Terrell, chaplain, USS Leyte Gulf. “I actually have quite a lot of appreciation for NSA Souda Bay for working with us to place these two alternatives collectively. This continues the actually optimistic pattern that we’ve got had on this deployment as we’ve got gotten to tug into ports. It began with Souda Bay with a seashore cleanup and it has simply gotten higher and higher. It provides our Sailors a good way to really feel extra embedded within the communities we go to.”

Leyte Gulf, homeported in Norfolk, is hooked up to the usGeorge H.W. Bush Provider Strike group (CSG) and is working within the U.S. Sixth Fleet space of operations as a part of a scheduled deployment.

NSA Souda Bay is an operational ashore set up which permits and helps U.S., Allied, Coalition, and Accomplice nation forces to protect safety and stability within the European, African, and Central Command areas of duty. For extra data, go to us at or discover us on Fb at