By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class T. Logan Keown
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) arrived in Odesa, Ukraine, for a scheduled port visit, Oct. 13, 2019, as part of our continued Black Sea presence and support to our region partners.
The ship hosted five Ukrainian officers to observe sea-and-anchor operations as it pulled into Odesa. These operations enhance regional maritime stability, combined readiness, and naval capability with our NATO allies and Black Sea partners.
This is the seventh time a U.S. Navy vessel has conducted operations in the Black Sea in 2019. The ship entered the Black Sea earlier this year on Aug. 8 to strengthen interoperability with NATO allies and partners and demonstrate the collective resolve to Black Sea security.
In July, the USS Carney (DDG 64) participated in exercise Sea Breeze 2019 and conducted maritime interoperability training with Standing NATO Maritime Group Two in the Black Sea. In April, USS Ross (DDG 71) conducted maritime training with Bulgaria and Georgia, and a replenishment-at-sea with Turkey. In February, USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) conducted maritime interoperability training with the Turkish Yavuz-class frigate TS Fatih (F 242) and conducted a port visit to Odesa, Ukraine. In January, Donald Cook and USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) conducted port visits to Georgia and Romania, respectively.
“It is great to be back in the Black Sea to conduct maritime security operations and enhance maritime stability, combined readiness and naval capability with our partners in the region,” said Cmdr. Thomas Ralston, executive officer of Porter. “This visit allows our crew to experience the rich history of Ukraine.”
The U.S. Navy routinely operations in the Black Sea consistent with international law, including the Montreux Convention.
U.S. 6thFleet, 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.