By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class T. Logan Keown
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) arrived in Batumi, Georgia, Oct. 22, 2019, for a scheduled port visit as part of our continued Black Sea presence and support to our regional partners.
Since arriving in the Black Sea on Oct. 12, the ship’s crew has hosted Ukrainian officers to observe a sea-and-anchor detail while pulling into Odesa, Ukraine, and conducted a trilateral passing exercise with the Romanian and Ukrainian navies. These operations enhance regional maritime stability, combined readiness and naval capability with our NATO allies and Black Sea partners.
While in port, the ship will participate in two community relations projects, host daily ship tours and a reception.
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 on Oct. 12 to strengthen interoperability with NATO allies and partners and demonstrate the collective resolve to Black Sea security.
The last ship to visit the Black Sea was USS Porter (DDG 78) in August. During its time 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. In July, USS Carney (DDG 64) participated in exercise Sea Breeze 2019 and conducted maritime interoperability training with Standing NATO Maritime Group Two. 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.
“The crew is looking forward to experiencing the rich culture and history of Georgia,” said Cmdr. Thomas Ralston, executive officer of Porter. “Strong relationships support peace and prosperity throughout the region.”
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.
From U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs