By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Logan Keown
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) began its southbound transit from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, Aug. 18, 2019, after a scheduled port visit to Golcuk, Turkey, and conducting maritime security operations in the region.
While in the Black Sea, the ship conducted scheduled port visits to Constanta, Romania; Varna, Bulgaria; and Golcuk, Turkey, to strengthen the U.S. relations with each nation. Porter hosted a reception, conducted two community relations (COMREL) events, and hosted media for a press conference during their visit to Bulgaria.
The crew and embarked midshipmen also joined the Bulgarian Navy in celebrating its 140th anniversary. In Romania, the ship hosted a reception, conducted a COMREL charity event, and participated in Romanian Navy Day on Aug. 15 to mark the Romanian Navy’s 159th anniversary. While in Turkey, the ship and crew participated in a wreath-laying ceremony for the 20-year anniversary of the 1999 earthquake in eastern Turkey and participated in a guided Morale, Welfare, and Recreation tour.
"Spending time in the Black Sea and with our partner nations was an exciting opportunity for the crew,” said Cmdr. Craig Trent, commanding officer of Porter. “We were able to interact with our counterparts and show support to our NATO allies and partners in the region as well as experience the rich culture and food of each country we visited.”
This is the sixth time a U.S. Navy ship has conducted operations in the Black Sea in 2019. The ship entered the Black Sea on Aug. 8 to strengthen interoperability with NATO allies and partners and demonstrate the collective resolve to Black Sea security.
“There is no substitute for the forward presence provided by the Porter and our other forward-deployed DDGs stationed in Rota,” said Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet. “The multi-mission capability of these warships is essential to our ability to routinely train with our NATO and partner maritime forces and enhance our collective interoperability. This ensures U.S. 6th Fleet remains ready to support requirements across the full spectrum of maritime operations.”
The U.S. Navy routinely operates in the Black Sea consistent with international law, including the Montreux Convention.
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.