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NEWS | Nov. 16, 2021

USS Porter Departs Black Sea, Arrives in Istanbul

By Lt. j. g. Brinn Hefron, USS Porter Public Affairs

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) departed the Black Sea, arriving in Istanbul, Turkey for a scheduled port visit, Nov. 16.

While in Istanbul, the ship’s crew will have the opportunity to participate in Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) coordinated tours and events to learn about the history and experience the city’s rich culture.

“This visit is a great opportunity to reinforce the strength of our naval partnership with our NATO ally,” said Cmdr. Christopher Petro, commanding officer, USS Porter. “We look forward to being ambassadors for the United States and appreciating the culture, history and hospitality of the Turkish people.”

Porter entered the Black Sea Oct. 30 to operate with NATO allies and partners in the region. Porter’s exercises and operations demonstrate U.S. and NATO’s continued commitment to collective defense of the European region and reinforce the strength of the NATO alliance.

These exercises and operations have provided Porter and her crew many opportunities. Since arriving in the Black Sea, Porter has participated in ship maneuvering exercises with the Blue Ridge-class command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), flagship of U.S. Sixth Fleet (SIXTHFLT), and the Henry J. Kaiser-class fleet replenishment oiler USNS John Lenthall (T-AO 189), as well as ships from the Bulgarian, Romanian, Turkish and Ukrainian Navies. Porter was also escorted to and from the port of Batumi, Georgia by ships from the Georgian Coast Guard. This interoperability among NATO allies and partners demonstrates our collective regional commitment in the Black Sea and to continued operations with Black Sea nations.

Previous port visits for Porter and her crew in the region include Batumi and Constanta, Romania. Both of these port visits afforded Porter’s crew the opportunity to build friendships with Georgian and Romanian citizens. The individual interpersonal bonds are key to enhancing relationships across navies and nations.

Porter is currently on her 10th patrol in the Sixth Fleet area of operations. Working together with other U.S. ships like the Mount Whitney and the John Lenthall demonstrates the U.S. Navy’s continued commitment to freedom of navigation in international waters for all nations within the Black Sea.

Porter, forward-deployed at Naval Station Rota, Spain, is conducting naval operations in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe, including in the Black Sea. Porter is one of four U.S. Navy destroyers based in Rota, Spain, and assigned to Commander, Task Force 65 in support of NATO’s Integrated Air Missile Defense architecture. These Forward-Deployed Naval Forces-Europe ships have the flexibility to operate throughout the waters of Europe and Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope to the Arctic Circle, demonstrating their mastery of the maritime domain.

U.S. Sixth 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.