By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class T. 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, Oct. 29, 2019, after conducting maritime security operations.
While in the Black Sea, the ship conducted scheduled port visits to Odesa, Ukraine, and Batumi, Georgia, to strengthen U.S. relations with both nations. In Ukraine, Porter welcomed aboard Ukrainian officers to observe a sea-and-anchor detail while pulling into port and participated in a community relations (COMREL) sports event with midshipmen from the Ukrainian naval academy. Upon departure of Ukraine, the ship participated in a trilateral passing exercise with Ukraine and Romania. While in Georgia, the ship ran a 5k with the Georgian Coast Guard (GCG), participated in a COMREL trash pick-up of the local area and conducted visit, board, search and seizure bilateral training with the GCG. The ship also participated in bilateral at-sea training with Turkey, where they practiced replenishment-at-sea approaches and conducted flight quarters training with a Turkish helicopter.
"We had a very productive trip to the Black Sea,” said Cmdr. Craig Trent, commanding officer of Porter. “We conducted exercises at sea with Romania, Ukraine, Georgia and Turkey, which helped strengthen our interoperability. The crew also experienced the rich history and culture of both Ukraine and Georgia during our port visits to both countries. We look forward to our next visit."
This is the seventh time a U.S. Navy ship 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 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.