Home Europe US destroyer USS Porter enters Black Sea tracked by Russian military

US destroyer USS Porter enters Black Sea tracked by Russian military

USS Porter during exercise Joint Warrior
US Navy file photo of USS Porter

US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) entered the Black Sea on October 30, under close watch of the Russian military.

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet tracked the destroyer as it made its way into the Black Sea on Saturday, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The US 6th Fleet said in a statement that the destroyer was accompanied by a formation of F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft, which provided air support.

Additional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft also supported the mission, including US Air Force units and a P-8A Poseidon from US Naval Forces Europe (NAVEUR)’s Commander, Task Force 67.

Integration between NAVEUR and USAFE-AFAFRICA supports operation Castle Forge, a USAFE-AFAFRICA-led joint, multinational training event that demonstrates Agile Combat Employment, a concept focusing on leveraging smaller contingents of capabilities scattered in several bases or regions of operations.

The US Navy said USS Porter would operate alongside NATO allies and partners in the Mediterranean and Black Seas.

“The crew of USS Porter looks forward to entering the Black Sea to maintain safety and stability throughout the region,” said Cmdr. Christopher Petro, commanding officer of Porter. “Our ability to work alongside our NATO allies and partners enhances our collective readiness and overall maritime security.”

Porter will participate in several multilateral exercises while in the Black Sea to refine ship-handling and maneuvering and practice air defense procedures.

“The power of alliances at sea is the ability to quickly bring together forces from many nations and aggregate naval power at the time and place of our choosing.” said Capt. Kyle Gantt, Commander, Task Force 65. “These operations in the Black Sea demonstrate the commitment to interoperability among NATO allies and partners.”

Porter is in the Black Sea after recently completing Fleet Operational Sea Training (FOST), in Plymouth, England, in September. FOST was a three-week training and NATO certifying event involving all facets of ship operations, including advanced warfighting tactics, firing weapons systems during gunnery exercises, and seamanship and maneuvering exercises.

The US Navy routinely operates in the Black Sea and mostly uses its four destroyers forward-deployed to Spain for the missions. In addition to Porter, USS Arleigh Burke, USS Roosevelt and USS Ross are also part of the group. The service is currently in the process of replacing the older variants of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers stationed in Spain with newer, more capable variants in a process that started in early 2020 and already saw USS Arleigh Burke and USS Roosevelt replace USS Donald Cook and USS Carney.