By Ensign Andrew Walker, USS Porter Public Affairs
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) has been operating in the Black Sea for four days on a U.S. 6th Fleet patrol, April 16, 2020.
Porter is underway on her eighth Forward-Deployed Naval Forces-Europe patrol, after taking precautions to ensure the health and safety of their crew. With the support of partners and allies, Porter will remain safely at sea, focusing on operational requirements and executing national tasking during the COVID-19 response.
Upon arrival in the Black Sea, Porter conducted maneuvering operations with the Romanian frigate Regina Maria (F222), demonstrating the strength and cooperation of nations across the NATO alliance.
“Porter has routinely operated in the Black Sea over the past few years, demonstrating our continued commitment to security and stability in the region.” said Cmdr. Craig Trent, commanding officer of Porter. “We're excited to be back in early 2020. The crew and I have been looking forward to strengthening our relationship with our regional maritime partners."
Porter began its north-bound international strait transit en route to the Black Sea April 13 to conduct maritime security operations and enhance regional maritime stability, combined readiness, and naval capability with our NATO allies and partners in the region.
This is the second time a U.S. Navy ship has visited the Black Sea since the beginning of 2020. The last ship to visit the Black Sea was USS Ross (DDG 71) in January.
The U.S. Navy routinely operates in the Black Sea consistent with international law, including the Montreux Convention.
Currently, three U.S. Navy destroyers are operating in U.S. 6th Fleet. Crews from Porter in the Black Sea, USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) in the Atlantic, and USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) in the Baltic Sea are healthy and sailing in the waters surrounding Europe. U.S. 6th Fleet will continue to conduct replenishments at sea and limit port visits to brief stops for fuel in order to keep our crews healthy and mission-ready.
Porter, forward-deployed to Naval Station Rota, Spain, is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe.
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.