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Naval Support Activity Souda Bay was recognized as having one of the world’s top Navy exchanges for the third consecutive year.

The facility in Crete won the NEX Service Command’s 2003 Bingham Award for exceptional performance in overseas sales in the $4-11 million category.

Another Europe NEX, at Mawgan in the United Kingdom, was runner-up in the same category.

The award takes into account sales performance, customer satisfaction and efforts to help the command, said Kristine Sturkie, spokeswoman for NEX headquarters, in a phone interview from Virginia Beach, Va.

“Souda Bay did a phenomenal job last year supporting the war effort,” she said. “... They supported their customers by opening late after hours to support ships.”

Souda was presented the award last week by Rear Adm. Robert Cowley, commander of the Navy Exchange Service, which sponsors the annual competition.

L.C. Browning, the Souda NEX general manager, said the heavy traffic during the war boosted sales.

“That was a great asset,” he said in a phone interview. “And I have a team of associates that thrive on customer service.”

The award is named after the late Capt. W.H. Bingham, appointed by the secretary of the Navy in 1946 to lead an advisory board for the establishment of the NEX system.

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