USS Vella Gulf Exits Black Sea

Release Date: 6/12/2014 | 1700

Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Edward Guttierrez III, USS Vella Gulf Public Affairs

MEDITERRANEAN SEA – The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) departed the Black Sea after a series of engagements promoting peace and stability in the region, June 12.

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BLACK SEA (June 12, 2014) - Gunner's Mate Seaman Frank Bassett mans an M240B machine gun as the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) approaches the Bosphorus Strait. Vella Gulf is deployed in a multi-mission role in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations to contribute to regional maritime security and to support NATO operations and deployments throughout the region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Edward Guttierrez III/RELEASED) Join the conversation on Twitter follow us on Facebook and while you're at it check us out on Google+

Vella Gulf’s mission, while in the Black Sea, was to work with NATO allies and European partners, demonstrating the United States’ commitment to strengthening and improving interoperability while working toward mutual goals in the region.

“Our time in the Black Sea was a positive experience that reinforced and further developed our relationships with partner nations,” said Vella Gulf’s Commanding Officer, Capt. Robert Katz. “This was an excellent opportunity to work closely with our NATO allies, increase our levels of interoperability, and continue to foster enduring friendships.”

Vella Gulf conducted port visits in Varna, Bulgaria and Constanta, Romania. In Bulgaria, Vella Gulf Sailors hosted the Bulgarian navy Chief of Staff, Capt. Kosta Andreev, and met cadets from the Bulgarian Naval Academy for a game of soccer. During Vella Gulf’s stop in Romania, the ship hosted U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and the Fleet Commander of the Romanian navy. Vella Gulf Sailors also helped remodel a children’s home and toured the Romanian Maritime Museum.

Additionally, Vella Gulf completed an underway engagement with the Turkish navy, June 10. These interactions served to build understanding and strengthen the bonds between our two navies.

Vella Gulf, homeported in Norfolk, Va., is deployed in a multi-mission role in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations to contribute to regional maritime security, conduct bilateral and multilateral training missions, and to support NATO operations and deployments throughout the region.

U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts a full range of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation missions in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners in order to advance security and stability in Europe and Africa.

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ISTANBUL (June 12, 2014) - The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) passes under the Bosphorus Bridge as she transits the Bosphorus Strait. Vella Gulf is deployed in a multi-mission role in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations to contribute to regional maritime security and to support NATO operations and deployments throughout the region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Edward Guttierrez III/RELEASED) Join the conversation on Twitter follow us on Facebook and while you're at it check us out on Google+

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BLACK SEA (June 12, 2014) - Lt. Cmdr. Devine Johnson monitors nearby surface contacts as the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf exits the Black Sea. Vella Gulf is deployed in a multi-mission role in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations to contribute to regional maritime security and to support NATO operations and deployments throughout the region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Edward Guttierrez III/RELEASED) Join the conversation on Twitter follow us on Facebook and while you're at it check us out on Google+

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BLACK SEA (June 12, 2014) - The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) approaches the Bosphorus Strait as she leaves the Black Sea. Vella Gulf is deployed in a multi-mission role in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations to contribute to regional maritime security and to support NATO operations and deployments throughout the region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Edward Guttierrez III/RELEASED) Join the conversation on Twitter follow us on Facebook and while you're at it check us out on Google+

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BLACK SEA (June 12, 2014) - Ensign Ryan Hagelin, left, and Lt. Liam Hickey monitor the course of the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) as the ship approaches the Bosphorus Strait. Vella Gulf is deployed in a multi-mission role in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations to contribute to regional maritime security and to support NATO operations and deployments throughout the region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Edward Guttierrez III/RELEASED) Join the conversation on Twitter follow us on Facebook and while you're at it check us out on Google+