By ENS Andrew Walker, USS Porter Public Affairs
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) conducted air exercises with the French navy in the Bay of Biscay, 27 April, 2020.
Working with a squadron of French navy Rafale-M fighter aircraft, USS Porter participated in Air Defense drills, acting as North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) air traffic control and surface-to-air defense. These exercises demonstrated the strength and cooperation of nations across the NATO alliance, enhancing regional stability, and operational readiness.
"We really benefitted from the valuable training conducted with our French partners today.” said Cmdr. Craig Trent, commanding officer of Porter. “Our interactions with the French naval air forces strengthened our alliance and made us stronger."
Porter is underway on her eighth Forward-Deployed Naval Forces-Europe patrol, after taking precautions to ensure the health and safety of her crew.
Currently, three U.S. Navy destroyers are operating in U.S. 6th Fleet. Crews from USS Porter, USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), and USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) 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.