By Ensign Andrew Walker, USS Porter Public Affairs
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) began its southbound transit from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea July 7, 2020, after conducting maritime security operations.
While in the Black Sea, Porter and her crew participated in two naval exercises with naval forces from the Bulgarian, Georgian, Romanian, and Turkish navies, as well as the Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51). Porter also conducted two brief stops for fuel in Batumi, Georgia, while maintaining COVID-19 precautions.
“My crew and I enjoyed and greatly benefited from operating in the Black Sea alongside our regional partners, demonstrating our commitment to stability and security,” said Cmdr. Craig Trent, commanding officer of Porter. “Training and working together not only make us a stronger force but are essential to building interoperability and joint-mission readiness.”
The ship entered the Black Sea June 17 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.
Porter recently conducted operations with partner nations throughout various European Seas, including at-sea training with the Romanian Navy in the Black Sea in April; joint interoperability exercises with the Italian and French navies in the Mediterranean Sea in April; and operating as part of a Surface Action Group with the Royal Navy in the High North and Barents Sea in May. Porter, forward-deployed to 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 and Africa.
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.