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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Cryton Vandiesal
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 94) arrived at Gölcük Naval Base, Türkiye, for a scheduled port visit on February 3, 2023.
En route to Gölcük, Nitze anchored in İstanbul, Türkiye opposite the historic Dolmabahçe Palace. Commander Katie Jacobson, commanding officer of Nitze, hosted U.S. Ambassador to Türkiye Jeffry Flake, Deputy Chief of Mission Scott Oudkirk, and U.S. Consul General to İstanbul Julie Eadeh on board for a tour and meeting with U.S. crewmembers.
“Türkiye is a highly valued NATO Ally,” said Ambassador Flake. “Nitze’s visit is an opportunity to further strengthen our long-standing and vital partnership with Türkiye.”
Türkiye’s joint operations with the U.S. Navy in the Mediterranean Sea reinforce the power of the NATO Alliance and enhances interoperability. The Mediterranean is a critical waterway for maritime commerce and stability throughout Europe. The U.S. Navy routinely operates in this region in close coordination with our regional Allies and partners.
“The Navy offers a unique opportunity to strengthen the NATO alliance between the U.S. and Türkiye while allowing the crew to experience the rich culture and history of a strategically important country that bridges Europe and Asia,” said Cmdr. Katie Jacobson. “Nitze’s officers and crew are truly excited to be here.”
While in Türkiye, Nitze leadership will engage with military officials and civilian leaders. Its crew will have opportunities to explore the nation’s history, cuisine, culture, and natural beauty.
“I think I speak for everyone when I say how thrilled I am to be going to Türkiye,” said Chief Personnel Specialist Lacey Thercy. “Türkiye is a county I haven’t had the privilege to experience yet and I’m looking forward to opportunity to get off the ship and soak up the sights, sounds, and culture of the country.”
The port visit marks Nitze’s third port visit in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations since departing her homeport of Norfolk, for a scheduled deployment. Nitze is part of the George H.W. Bush Carrier strike Group (CSG) operating in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operation as part of a scheduled deployment.
The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) is the flagship of CSG-10, George H.W. Bush CSG. CSG-10 is comprised of George H.W. Bush Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26, the Information Warfare Commander, and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55).
The ships of DESRON-26 within CSG-10 are the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers which include Nitze, USS Farragut (DDG 99), USS Truxtun (DDG 103), and USS Delbert D. Black (DDG 119).
The assigned squadrons of CVW-7 embarked aboard the George H.W. Bush include: the “Sidewinders” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 86, the “Jolly Rogers” of VFA-103, the “Knighthawks” of VFA-136, the “Pukin Dogs” of VFA-143, the “Bluetails” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121, the “Patriots” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 140, the “Nightdippers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 5, and the “Grandmasters” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 46.
For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (NAVEURNAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with allies and partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability.
Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.
The George H.W. Bush CSG is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe area of operations, employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend U.S., allied, and partner interests.