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Foggo Welcomes Black Sea Leaders to Promote Security
Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander, U.S Naval Forces Europe-Africa and commander, Allied Joint Forces Command Naples welcomed senior representatives from NATO and Black Sea partner countries to Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy Sept. 7 for a Black Sea Conference. Senior leaders from Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States discussed shared challenges and reinvigorated their mutual commitment to maintain stability, ensure security, and enable prosperity in the region.
Foggo noted the importance of maintaining presence and engagements with Black Sea allies and partners through port visits, cultural exchanges and participation in complex, multi-national maritime exercises such as Sea Breeze, which Ukraine co-hosted with the United States. He also mentioned Allied Maritime Command’s Standing Naval Maritime Group 2 and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 anticipates operating in the Black Sea for a total of 126 days in 2018, triple the number from 2014.
“It is important for us to discuss the challenges we face, how we can cooperate better together, and identify opportunities that lead to a more stable and secure region,” said Foggo.
When speaking about combined efforts aimed at enhancing mutual security objectives in the Black Sea region, Foggo highlighted the new NATO Regional Headquarters at the Multinational Division South East (MNDSE) in Bucharest, Romania. MNDSE recently coordinated exercise Noble Jump which featured the deployment of 5,000 troops and 500 vehicles, successfully demonstrating the Alliance’s rapid reception, staging and onward movement capabilities across three countries in the Black Sea.
“This a major step in the right direction,” said Foggo. “NATO allies and partners will continue to conduct engagements and multinational exercises that enhance our interoperability as a long-term effort to improve regional cooperation, maritime security, and stability in the Black Sea area.”
These developments combine with the newly announced NATO readiness initiative “Four 30s,” to further NATO’s deterrence capability, as well as its agility and relevance. The “Four 30s” initiative states that by 2020, NATO will have “30 mechanized battalions, 30 air squadrons, and 30 combat vessels, ready to use within 30 days or less.”
“We are stronger together, and the Black Sea Conference is a way we reinvigorate and demonstrate this,” Foggo continued.
U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.