USS Donald Cook to Enter Black Sea on Friday

USS Donald Cook


The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook is scheduled to enter the Black Sea later in the day “to maintain peace and stability in the region,” US Naval Forces Europe-Africa said in a statement issued on Friday.

“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,” according to the statement.It was mentioned in the statement that the purpose of the vessel entering the Black Sea is to demonstrate US commitment “to the collective security of our NATO allies and support for our partners in Europe” as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

The operation, which forms part of a series of US and NATO troop deployments and exercises in the region, which began in April 2014, seeks to “deter Russia from regional hegemony,” according to the US European Command.

NATO has been reinforcing its military presence in Eastern Europe and the Black Sea since the outbreak of the conflict in southeastern Ukraine in April 2014.

Russia maintains that NATO expansion close to its western frontier is a threat to regional security.

Six NATO Ships Begin Joint Black Sea Exercise – NATO Maritime Command

Marine Group Two is comprised of six ships - Vicksburg, Fredericton, Turgutreis, Spessart, Aliseo, and Regina Maria. Above: USS Vicksburg.

Marine Group Two is comprised of six ships – Vicksburg, Fredericton, Turgutreis, Spessart, Aliseo, and Regina Maria.


WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Six NATO warships, including Turkish, Bulgarian and Romanian vessels, have arrived to the Black Sea to start joint training exercises, according to NATO Maritime Command (MARCOM) press release issued on Wednesday.”NATO ships assigned to Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) arrived today in the Black Sea to operate and train with ships from the Bulgarian, Romanian and Turkish Navies,” the press release read.

Marine Group Two is comprised of six ships — Vicksburg, Fredericton, Turgutreis, Spessart, Aliseo, and Regina Maria, according to MARCOM.

The joint training, led by US Rear Adm. Brad Williamson, will include simulated anti-air and anti-submarine warfare exercises, small boat attacks and ship-handling maneuvers, the press release stated.


“The training and exercises we will conduct with our allies in the Black Sea prepares us to undertake any mission NATO might require to meet its obligations for collective defense,” Williamson was quoted as saying in the press release.Williamson added that NATO looks forward to enhancing its interoperability with Turkish, Bulgarian and Romanian navies.

Russian multi-role Su-30 fighter jets and Su-24 frontline bomber jets from the Black Sea Fleet’s Navy aviation are observing the NATO warships movements in the Black Sea, a source in the Crimea Naval Base said on Wednesday.

NATO has boosted its military presence close to the Russian border after Crimea seceded from Ukraine and reunified with Russia in March 2014.

In the summer of 2014, NATO dispatched a record number of nine vessels to the Black Sea, coupled with reinforcing its air patrolling missions in the Baltic airspace.


Two NATO warships enter Black Sea – source

Canada’s frigate Toronto and Spain’s frigate Almirante Juan de Borbon will take part in the international drill Sea Breeze-2014


MOSCOW, September 07 /ITAR-TASS/. Two NATO’s warships – Canada’s frigate Toronto and Spain’s frigate Almirante Juan de Borbon – have entered the Black Sea to take part in the international drill Sea Breeze-2014, a military diplomatic source told ITAR-TASS on Sunday.

“Both ships passed through Bosphorus and entered the Black Sea on Saturday evening,” the source said.

On Friday, September 3, another two NATO warships – as the French Navy Ship Commandant Birot and the U.S. destroyer Ross – entered the Black Sea. France’s ship Dupuy le Lome that had been staying in the Black Sea from August 16 left from the Mediterranean Sea on September 5.

“The NATO ships’ crews will conduct the Sea Breeze exercises from September 8 to September 10. It is expected that along with the four abovementioned ships the drills will involve Turkey’s frigate Oruc Reis, Romania’s frigate Regele Ferdinand and Georgia’s patrol boat Sukhumi,” the source added. “While staying in the Black Sea, the alliance’s warship may call at the ports of Constanta (Romania) and Odessa (Ukraine).”

According to the official website of the Ukrainian defence ministry, Ukraine will commission five warship and support vessels, and two border service’s boats to the exercises. Apart from that, the drills will involve planes and helicopters of the Ukrainian armed forces’ naval aviation. The drills will be monitored by observers from a number of countries, namely Georgia, Norway, Sweden and France.

In line with the Montreaux Convention, warships of non-littoral states cannot stay in the Black Sea for more than 21 days. France’s Dupuy le Lome stayed in the Black Sea 21 days, hence, the convention was not violated.



NATO Sets Record By Sending Nine Ships Into Black Sea

USS Vella Gulf

14:40 08/07/2014

MOSCOW, July 8 (RIA Novosti) – The group of NATO ships in the Black Sea has grown to nine vessels, setting a record for recent decades, a military and diplomatic source told RIA Novosti Tuesday.

“American cruiser Vella Gulf arrived in Burgas early Tuesday, and French frigate Surcouf, which returned to the Black Sea on July 4, unmoored from the port of Batumi,” the source said.

The addition of the two ships has brought the number of NATO military vessels in the sea to nine.

“We haven’t seen such a large number of NATO ships since the USSR,” the source noted.

Apart from the Vella Gulf and the Surcouf, the Black Sea is currently hosting two French reconnaissance ships, and the Italian Dupuy de Lome and Elettra. Additionally, the Breeze-2014 military drills are underway near Bulgarian shores, where the vessels of Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCMG2) are located. The group is led by the Italian guard ship ITS Aviere. Italian and Turkish minesweepers ITS Rimini and TCG Akcay are also participating in the exercises, along with British mine defense vessel HMS Chiddingfold.

The large-scale drills on the Black Sea kicked off on July 4. Around 20 military ships and supporting vessels are taking part. The source in the Russian Defense Ministry told RIA Novosti that ships and naval aviation are tracking NATO activities in the region.

According to the Montreux Convention, military ships from nations that do not have direct access to the Black Sea can only stay in the area for a maximum of 21 days. American frigate USS Taylor violated the convention earlier this year, exceeding the limit by 11 days.

Maneuver Force of Russian Black Sea Fleet Successfully Destroyed Simulated Enemy Warships

Missile hovercraft ship (RKVP) "Samum"

11:05 07/07/2014

MOSCOW, July 7 (RIA Novosti) – The warships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet successfully hit simulated enemy targets at sea, the press service of the Russian Defense Ministry reported Monday.

“The strength group comprising a Bora-class hoverborne guided missile corvette Samum, guided missile corvette Shtil and two missile boats R-109 and R-239 successfully completed a joint missile firing at a complex target, simulating a surface combatant squadron of the potential enemy,” the ministerial statement reads.

According to the ministry, around 20 warships and supply vessels and over 20 planes and helicopters of the Southern Military District took part in the training maneuvers.

On July 4, the Russian Black Sea Fleet started military drills led by the fleet commander Admiral Alexander Vitko.

On the same day four NATO warships entered the Black Sea to take part in the international Breeze-2014 military exercise with the US Navy and the naval forces of Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, and Turkey. Breeze-2014 is scheduled to run from July 4 to 13.

NATO has been flexing its muscles near the Russian border and in the Black Sea since Crimea’s reunification with Russia in March, explaining the action with the need to protect the member states of the Alliance from possible invasion. Moscow has repeatedly expressed concern over the West’s ungrounded aggressive pressure on Russia.

Russian Navy’s spokesman denies one of two Mistral ships to be based in Crimea

Russian Navy’s spokesman denies one of two Mistral ships to be based in Crimea

ST. PETERSBURG, June 28 /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian Navy denies one of the two helicopter carriers of the Mistral class, being built for Russian in France, The Sevastopol, will be based in the same-name harbour in Crimea on the Black Sea.

Earlier, some mass media said that one of the two amphibious assault ships will enter duty as the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet by 2015. A pier was reportedly being equipped for it.

“The Navy’s Command has made no changes to its original plans for the Mistral ships. Infrastructures for them are being built in Vladivostok. No amendments have been made,” the Navy’s spokesman told the media on Friday.

According to the official there were certain plans for upgrading the composition of the Black Sea Fleet in the near future. Six submarines of project 636.6 and frigates of project 11356 would join the fleet soon.

“Mistral class ships are absent from these plans,” the spokesman said.

Two NATO warships in Black Sea, one remains in Cyprus port

Two NATO warships in Black Sea, one remains in Cyprus port

MOSCOW, April 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Two NATO warships the US “Donald Cook” with the Aegis missile defense system on board and the large French reconnaissance ship “Dupuy de Lome” are in the Black Sea for the present. The French destroyer Dupleix, which was planned to enter the Black Sea on April 14, remains in the Cypriot port of Limassol in the Mediterranean, a Russian Defence Ministry source has told ITAR-TASS this Friday.

The Donald Cook and the Dupuy de Lome left the Romanian port of Constanta after staying there for a few days. The US destroyer was in the western part of the sea and the French ship was in its central part, the source said, noting that a fuss was created all over the world over a flight of a Russian Su-24 bomber over the US warship, though it was routine practice usual for the United States itself.

As for the French destroyer Dupleix remaining in the port of Limassol for a week, it was unknown yet when the ship would arrive in the Black Sea, the source said.

The US and French warships entered the Black Sea on April 10 in connection with the deteriorating situation in Ukraine.