By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James Turner
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) departed the Black Sea March 3, 2018, after conducting maritime security operations and enhancing regional maritime stability, as well as strengthening combined readiness and naval capability among NATO allies and partners.
Carney entered the Black Sea, Feb. 17.
Carney’s crew visited Varna, Bulgaria, Feb. 18-22, for a scheduled port visit to strengthen ties and demonstrate the mutual trust and respect between the U.S. and Bulgaria.
While in Varna, members of the crew hosted a luncheon for the Bulgarian chief of naval operations and experienced the city's historical and cultural treasures during three different guided tours.
“I enjoyed myself in Bulgaria,” said Operations Specialist 3rd Class James Garcia. “I was able to do a half-day guided tour and learning their culture was my favorite part, it was definitely interesting.”
Members of Carney's crew also visited and toured the Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy, where they conducted bilateral ship exercises with sailors from the Bulgarian navy using ship simulators.
While in the Black Sea, Carney conducted several routine exercises including a gunnery exercise, shooting its 5-inch gun, close-in weapons system and 25mm guns.
“Our gunnery exercise in the Black Sea was excellent training for our personnel,” said Lt. Jamie Jordan, weapons officer of Carney. “We train at every opportunity in order to ensure that the crew is proficient and can execute the mission when called upon and our exercise was a great example of excellence in execution.”
Before departing the Black Sea, Carney conducted a replenishment-at-sea (RAS) with the NATO ally Turkish mine-class open sea fuel tanker TCG YB. Kudret Güngör (A 595), taking on approximately 190,000 gallons of fuel.
“During our mission in the Black Sea, Carney was able to work with and train alongside some of our NATO allies – demonstrating the enduring strength of our alliance through mutual exercises ashore, during joint ship-handling training with the Bulgarian Navy, and afloat, through an underway replenishment with a Turkish oiler,” said Cmdr. Peter Halvorsen, commanding officer of Carney. “It is through these types of events that we both improve our joint capability and show just how important the alliance is to maintaining peace and security in the region.”
The U.S. Navy routinely operates in the Black Sea consistent with the Montreux Convention and international law.
Carney, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is on a routine patrol conducting naval operations with allies and partners in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in order to advance security and stability in the Black Sea region.
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.