The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) participated in a bilateral underway engagement with the Turkish navy corvette TCG Bykada (F 512) in the Black Sea, June 10.
The engagement provided U.S. Navy assets an opportunity to work with Turkey to improve maritime capabilities and interoperability in a number of maritime mission areas.
Vella Gulf and Bykada shared tactics and techniques in countering air, surface, and asymmetrical threats. The two ships also communicated via bridge-to-bridge communications in order to simulate hailing a ship before beginning preparations for boarding.
Vella Gulf, homeported in Norfolk, Virginia, 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.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts a full range of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation missions in concert with coalition, joint, interagency, and other partners in order to advance security and stability in Europe and Africa.
Press Release, June 11, 2014; Image: US Navy