Guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG-78) entered the Black Sea on Thursday and is the sixth U.S. ship to operate in the region this year.
Porter, one of four U.S. destroyers based in Spain, moved across the Bosphorus and into the Black Sea, according to Turkish ship spotters.
It’s the first U.S. ship to operate in the Black Sea since the Spearhead-class USNS Yuma (T-EPF-8) left the region in late July after the joint U.S.- Ukraine Sea Breeze 2019 exercise.
In a statement, U.S. 6th Fleet did not tie the deployment to a specific exercise.
“The naval operations we conduct in the Black Sea with our allies and partners maintain the strong relationships that are necessary for regional stability,” Vice Adm. Lisa M. Franchetti, the commander of 6th Fleet, said in a statement. “The inherent flexibility of our forward-deployed naval force DDGs enables our ability to provide a credible defense and ensure we are postured appropriately to support our global operations.”
The four destroyers in Rota are part of the U.S. phased European adaptive approach to ballistic missile defense that pairs the capabilities of the destroyers with Aegis Ashore BMD stations in Poland and Romania.
The Navy has stepped up its presence in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea since the 2014 invasion of Crimea by Russia.