Bosporus naval observers published photos of the destroyer's entry into the Black Sea Friday evening, along with screengrabs of the vessel's transit through the Bosporus.
According to the US Navy, the ship is ostensibly entering the region "to conduct maritime security operations" and "enhance regional maritime stability," and to strengthen the naval capabilities and readiness of NATO and its partners.
.@USNavy boosts patrols in BlackSea amid tensions in region: #FWDdeployed to Rota & on its 4th patrol in support of regional allies & partners, Arleigh Burke-class AEGIS guided missile @USNavyEurope destroyer USS Carney DDG64 transits Bosphorus towards BlackSea #steadypresence pic.twitter.com/uM4rU5d4wH— Yörük Işık (@YorukIsik) 5 января 2018 г.
USN destroyer USS Carney made a northbound passage through Turkish Straits today and entered the Black Sea. This is her first deployment to the region in 2018. 📸My mom took these photos. Ship spotting runs strong in my family. 😀 pic.twitter.com/G9T0uKh0gP— Bosphorus Naval News (@Saturn5_) 5 января 2018 г.
The last time the US 6th Fleet destroyer was in the Black Sea was July 2017, for the Sea Breeze 2017 training exercises with the Ukrainian Navy in Odessa. According to Ukrainian media, the USS Carney will be likely to enter the port of Odessa this time as well.
The 1936 Montreux Convention limits the frequency and duration of NATO alliance warship visits to the Black Sea. Under the treaty, non-Black Sea powers' ships can remain in the body of water for a total of 21 days, after which they have to leave. The Convention also expressly restricts non-Black Sea powers from establishing a permanent presence in the region. In recent years, Russia has cited concerns over NATO's efforts to beef up its presence in the Black Sea, including via its so-called 'Permanent Task Force' initiative, as well as efforts by NATO partners Ukraine and Georgia to cheat Montreux.