Two U.S. Destroyers in Black Sea, Russians Say U.S. Military Presence Boosts Instability

Two U.S. guided-missile destroyers are operating in the Black Sea along with a U.S. oiler, service officials announced on Thursday.

According to ship spotters USS Porter (DDG-78) sailed through the Bosphorus, joining USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) and the fleet oiler USNS Laramie (T-AO-203), which entered the region within the last several days.

Porter and Cook are part of the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed quartet of destroyers based in Rota, Spain.

The ships are exercising with NATO air units in the region, including U.S. Navy P-8A aircraft from Patrol Squadron (VP) 46 and NATO Air Command aircraft E-3A Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), according to U.S. 6th Fleet.
“Every time our adversary changes how they operate, we stay one step ahead of them,” Capt. Joseph Gagliano, commander of Task Force 65, said in a statement.
“We maintain control of the sea by drawing from the best capabilities of the NATO alliance, and together we are guaranteeing stability in the Black Sea.”

Since the 2014 Russian seizure of the Crimean peninsula, the U.S. and NATO forces have maintained a regular presence in the Black Sea.

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