The U.S. Navy has transferred four ridged-hulled inflatable boats (RHIB) to the Hellenic Navy, based on an Excess Defense Articles (EDA) grant, on Oct. 31.
The transferring was done at the Marathi NATO pier facility, Naval Support Activity (NSA) Souda Bay in Crete, Greece.
Section 516 of the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA) of 1961 authorizes the Department of Defense to transfer EDA to foreign governments. Under the FAA, military departments determine what is or is not excess. RHIBs are typically used for modernization of partner forces, and are transferred at a reduced price based on the condition of the equipment or as a grant.
Cmdr. Matt Zublic, assigned to the Office of Defense Cooperation in Athens, Greece, explained that since the U.S. Navy received new security boats; these boats could be EDA granted to the Hellenic Navy.
“It was in the best interest of the United States to EDA grant these boats to the Hellenic Navy,” said Zublic. “They served the purpose of security patrols for the U.S. Navy, now they will do the same for the Hellenic Navy.”
Zublic further explained that transferring these formerly U.S.-owned boats to the Hellenic Navy means that our military partner increases their fleet of small patrol boats by four, and the U.S. Navy benefits from having a military partner that has boats fully inter-operable with the equipment used by U.S. harbor security at Naval Support Activity Souda Bay.
To otherwise dispose of these boats would mean that they would have to have been stripped of their parts and transferred for disposition aervices through the Defense Logistics Agency.
Naval Support Activity Souda Bay extends the war fighting capability by providing, operating and sustaining superior facilities and services dedicated to combat readiness and security of ships, aircraft, detachments and personnel.
Rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) or rigid-inflatable boat (RIB) is a lightweight but high-performance and high-capacity boatconstructed with a solid, shaped hull and flexible tubes at the gunwale. RIB is a development of the inflatable boat.
The design is stable and seaworthy. The inflatable collar allows the vessel to maintain buoyancy if a large quantity of water is shipped aboard due to bad sea conditions.
The RHIBs are used by the military for patrolling roles and to transport troops between vessels or ashore.
NSA Souda Bay