Into the Black Sea — Great shot from yesterday as USS Laboon transits the Bosphorus Strait en route to the Black Sea pic.twitter.com/GYMXnBlnHA— US Mission to NATO (@USNATO) 23 июня 2015
A high-ranking delegation, including Georgia's Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli and US Ambassador to Georgia Richard Norland, welcomed the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer hailing from the United States Navy's 6th Fleet as it docked in Batumi on Saturday.
The Laboon's visit is also aimed at enhancing "Georgia's deterrent capabilities, professionalism and capability of its armed forces," Norland said in a statement, without detailing the exact threats the country might be facing.
In July, Georgia will host the multilateral Agile Spirit 2015 exercise focused on peacekeeping and support operations.
In August, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is set to come to Georgia to open a new training center.
Earlier, Khidasheli called Georgia "one of the most interoperable, reliable and devoted partners of NATO."
my dream to have this generation of Geo Army with NATO badges in Georgia. too much to dream? pic.twitter.com/h2QFBZPmJG— Tina Khidasheli (@tinakhidasheli) 5 июня 2015
The alliance has described the deployment of troops and military hardware to the Russian neighborhood, as well as the military drills as "proportionate" and "defensive" activities, which pose no threat to any country, including Russia.
Moscow has repeatedly voiced legitimate concern over the US and NATO's saber-rattling, warning it could undermine European stability and security.