WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The missile defense destroyer USS Porter will enter the Black Sea on Tuesday to support partners in the region, the US Navy said in a statement on Monday.
"The ship's operations in the Black Sea are meant to enhance maritime security and stability, readiness and naval capability with our allies and partners," the statement explained.
"Forward Deployed Naval Forces, like USS [United States Ship] Porter, continue to demonstrate why being forward matters. Her presence will continue to improve our interoperability and capabilities with allies and partners," Vice Admiral James Foggo, Commander of the US 6th Fleet, was quoted in the statement as saying.
The statement also said the United States remained committed to maintaining a persistent presence in Eastern Europe.
Meanwhile, NATO has increased its military presence in Eastern Europe and the Black Sea since the outbreak of the conflict in southeastern Ukraine in April 2014.
Russia has warned that NATO’s build up and expansion close to its borders is a provocative move and a threat to regional security.
The Porter is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer carrying RIM-161 Standard Missile 3s (SM-3) that functions as part of the Aegis Ballistic Missile System.