The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Porter has conducted a refueling and resupply mission with the Turkish Navy a day after entering the Black Sea Friday, the U.S. Navy said on Monday.
Ship resupply is normally conducted by U.S. vessels but the Porter used the Turkish oiler TCB YB Kudret for refueling as an exercise in resupply interoperability with the fellow NATO member’s ship.
“This is an advanced maritime operation that not every navy in the world can undertake,” Task Force 65 commander Capt. Tate Westbrook said in a press release.
“The importance of this interoperability with a NATO ally cannot be overstated, as it allows us to conduct sustained operations and enhance the regional security in a critical area of the world.”
The Porter entered the Black Sea on Friday to conduct security operations in the 6th Fleet’s area of responsibility, and readiness exercises with allied navies, including Turkey.
The Black Sea has traditionally been considered a Russian sphere of influence, and their annexation of Crimea and the continued hostilities between Ukraine and Russian back separatists have led to increased tensions in the region.
Russian aircraft have repeatedly harassed U.S. vessels in the Black Sea, including close overflights that verged on dangerous.
By Stephen Carlson