BLACK SEA –
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) began its southbound transit from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, Aug. 3, 2020, after conducting maritime security operations in the region.
While in the Black Sea, Porter and her crew participated in the 20th iteration of joint U.S.-Ukrainian hosted, annual maritime exercise Sea Breeze, a multinational effort that drew together air, land, and sea forces from Bulgaria, Georgia, Norway, Romania, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United States. This year’s exercise involved over 400 U.S. service members and eight nations, with a focus on multiple warfare areas including maritime interdiction operations, air defense, anti-submarine warfare, damage control, and search and rescue operations.
“My crew and I always appreciate opportunities to operate and train with our regional allies and partners in the Black Sea” said Cmdr. Craig Trent, commanding officer of Porter. “The time we spend here is essential to building enduring relationships and developing our interoperability.”
The ship entered the Black Sea July 19, to strengthen interoperability with NATO Allies and partners to demonstrate the collective resolve to Black Sea security while participating in exercise Sea Breeze 20. This visit marks the third Black Sea regional patrol in five months for Porter.
U.S. Navy vessels routinely conduct training with allies and partners in order to increase capacity and capability as we work together to strengthen regional ties.
During previous visits to the Black Sea, Porter and her crew took part in three naval exercises with naval forces from the Bulgarian, Georgian, Romanian, and Turkish navies, as well as the Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51). Porter also conducted two visits to Batumi, Georgia while maintaining COVID-19 precautions.
The U.S. Navy routinely operates in the Black Sea consistent with international law, including the Montreux Convention.
Porter, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.