The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) welcomed aboard U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel during a scheduled port visit to Constanta, Romania, June 5.
Vella Gulf’s presence in Romania reaffirms the United States’ commitment to strengthening ties with NATO allies and partners, while working toward mutual goals of promoting peace and stability in the region, something Hagel touched on while on board the ship.
“As we partner with Romania and the rest of our NATO allies, I want all of you to know that I am proud of you, and the President of the United States is proud of you,” said Hagel while speaking to Sailors on the ship’s 1MC.
Upon arrival, Hagel was greeted by Vella Gulf’s Commanding Officer Capt. Robert Katz. He was then given a tour of the ship, including the navigation bridge and combat information center.
Vella Gulf, homeported in Norfolk, Va., is deployed in a multi-mission role in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations to contribute to regional maritime security, conduct bilateral and multilateral training missions, and to support NATO operations and deployments throughout the region.
Press Release, June 05, 2014; Image: US Navy