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NEWS | April 23, 2020

6th Fleet Ships, Aircraft Conduct a Photo Exercise with the Italian Navy in the Mediterranean Sea

By U.S. Sixth Fleet Public Affairs

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Porter (DDG 78) and USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), USNS Supply (T-AOE 6) and a P-8A Poseidon from Patrol Squadron (VP) 4, conducted a photo exercise (PHOTOEX) with Italian Navy frigate ITS Federico Martinengo (F 596) in the Mediterranean Sea, April 23.

The ships are underway and conducting operations in support of regional maritime security. Martinengo has been operating and training with Porter and Supply since April 22, enhancing interoperability between the two nations.

Roosevelt is conducting its first Forward-Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) patrol and joins veteran FDNF ship, Porter on its eighth. Roosevelt arrived in the 6th Fleet April 14, and is scheduled to relieve USS Carney (DDG 64) this summer as one of four FDNF ships homeported in Rota, Spain. Both ships took precautions to ensure the health and safety of their crews prior to their respective departures.

Military Sealift Command’s fast combat support ship, USNS Supply, joined Porter and Roosevelt to provide rapid refueling and replenishment at sea during the units’ patrols. The ability to replenish at sea provides greater flexibility for ships to remain underway and on station for extended periods of time.

Supply’s capability is especially beneficial during the COVID-19 global pandemic as it keeps crews healthy by eliminating potential exposure to the virus in port and also reduces the risk of spreading the virus to partner nations.

“Operations like these demonstrate the great work our people are doing to protect the force,” said Commodore, Military Sealift Command Europe and Africa (MSCEURAF) and Commander, Task Force 63 (CTF-63) Capt. Frank Okata, “It also allows them to stay at sea and remained focused on the mission.

MSC, which operates approximately 125 naval auxiliary civilian-crewed ships, replenishes U.S. Navy ships, strategically prepositions combat cargo at sea and moves military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners around the world.

Three U.S. Navy destroyers are operating in U.S. 6th Fleet. Porter and Roosevelt will continue operations in the Mediterranean, while USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) remains on station in the Baltic Sea.

Porter began its south-bound international strait transit en route from the Black Sea April 20, prior to joining Roosevelt. While in the Black Sea, Porter conducted maritime security operations with NATO allies and partners, contributing to regional maritime stability, combined readiness and naval capability.

U.S. 6th Fleet will continue to conduct replenishments at sea and limit brief stops for fuel in order to keep crews healthy and mission- ready. Headquartered in Naples, Italy, U.S. 6th Fleet 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.