USS Porter Destroyer Heading to Black Sea for Naval Drills, US Military Says

© AP Photo / Ford WilliamsIn this image provided by the U.S. Navy, the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) transits the Mediterranean Sea on March 9, 2017
In this image provided by the U.S. Navy, the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) transits the Mediterranean Sea on March 9, 2017 - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The United States' guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG-78) is headed to the Black Sea to participate in joint naval exercises with Ukraine, the 6th Fleet of the US Naval Forces Europe-Africa said in a statement on Sunday.

"The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) began its northbound transit to the Black Sea, July 19, 2020, to enhance regional maritime stability by participating in the 20th iteration of U.S.-Ukrainian cohosted exercise Sea Breeze 2020," the statement read.

It added that this was the fifth US warship that entered the waters of the Black Sea since the beginning of 2020. The last ones to visit the Black Sea were USS Oak Hill and USS Porter.

During their stay in the Black Sea, the ships participated in exercises with the Bulgarian, Romanian and the Turkish navies, as well as the Georgian Coast Guard.

"Porter’s return to the Black Sea reaffirms U.S. 6th Fleet’s and the U.S. Navy’s commitment to our NATO allies and partners ... Our participation in multinational exercises like Sea Breeze are a tangible representation of U.S. resolve for the collective defense of Europe," Vice Adm. Gene Black, the commander of the 6th Fleet, said.

About 2,000 servicemen from nine countries, 27 warships and 19 aircraft are expected to partake in the Sea Breeze naval drills.

This year's participants include Bulgaria, France, Georgia, Norway, Romania, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United States.

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