US Navy command ship starts Black Sea operations

USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) arrives in Gaeta, Italy, Aug. 19, 2016 after a scheduled port visit. Photo: US Navy

U.S. Navy’s 6th Fleet command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) entered the Black Sea on October 10 to conduct theater security cooperation and key leader engagement events with allies and partners in the region.

USS Mount Whitney is operating in the Black Sea in support of operation Atlantic Resolve, the U.S. response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

All U.S. efforts in support of continued commitment to the collective security of NATO allies and European partners fall under the umbrella of OAR.

While operating in the Black Sea, Mount Whitney will conduct theater security cooperation and key leader engagement events with allies and partners in the region.

“Bringing the U.S. 6th Fleet command ship to the Black Sea presents a great opportunity for us to reaffirm our historic and enduring partnerships with our allies and partners in this part of the world, while demonstrating our commitment to promoting peace and stability in the Black Sea region.” – Rear Adm. Daryl L. Caudle, deputy commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet director of operations.

Elements of the U.S. 6th Fleet staff are currently embarked aboard Mount Whitney to provide planning support to U.S. European Command’s (USEUCOM) computer-assisted exercise, Austere Challenge 17.

The U.S. Navy routinely operates in the Black Sea consistent with the Montreux Convention and international law. USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) departed Gaeta, Italy Oct. 7.

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