By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Scott Barnes
The U.S. 6th Fleet Blue Ridge-class command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) arrived in Tallinn, Estonia, for a scheduled port visit June 29, 2019.
The visit serves to demonstrate enduring partnership with Estonia and a mutual commitment to regional security and stability.
“We are looking forward to spending time ashore in this beautiful and historic city,” said Capt. Cassidy Norman, commanding officer of Mount Whitney. “We are grateful for the hospitality of our Estonian hosts and are happy to have the chance to meet with members of the Estonian Defense League to continue building the strong relationship between the U.S. and Estonia.”
During the visit, the crew of Mount Whitney is scheduled to hold a reception for distinguished visitors and local leaders aboard the ship. The crew will also attend a camp for a local high school to mentor students.
“I am really looking forward to the community relations event at the State Defense Camp,” said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Jon Heldorfer. “Being able to mentor the youth in the local community is important to me.”
Mount Whitney arrived in Tallinn following participation in the 47th iteration of exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS). BALTOPS is the premier maritime-focused exercise in the Baltic Region and took place in the Baltic Sea from June 9-21, 2019.
“The Sailors and civilian mariners of Mount Whitney are excited to be in Tallinn, Estonia,” said Norman. “We just completed a busy underway as the command ship for BALTOPS 2019. We were quite impressed with Estonia's involvement in BALTOPS, including an amphibious demonstration.”
Mount Whitney, homeported in Gaeta, Italy, operates with a combined crew of U.S. Sailors and Military Sealift Command civil service mariners.
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.