USS Fort McHenry arrives in Romania on first Black Sea visit

US Navy amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) arrived in Constanta, Romania, on January 7 for the first scheduled port visit of its Black Sea tour.

The Whidbey Island-class ship stopped in Romania after becoming the first US Navy ship to enter Black Sea since the Kerch Strait incident from November last year.

What is more, Constanta is the first port visit for USS Fort McHenry, which deployed from its homeport of Mayport, Florida, December 16, 2018.

“The sailors and marines of Fort McHenry have a great opportunity to experience a historic city,” said Cmdr. Steve Schmidt, commanding officer of Fort McHenry. “We stand together with our Romanian allies and partners to maintain a safe, secure and prosperous region. Strong relationships are the foundation of peace and prosperity.”

USS Fort McHenry is scheduled to get underway from Constanta on December 10 and will be joined by Romanian Navy frigate ROS Regele Ferdinand for a series of exercises in Romanian and international waters of the Black Sea.

Fort McHenry is part of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group, which also consists of the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24), Fleet Surgical Teams 2 and 8, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 26, Tactical Air Control Squadron (TACRON) 21, components of Naval Beach Group 2 and the embarked staff of Amphibious Squadron 6.

Photo: USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) pulls into Constanta, Romania, for a scheduled port visit, Jan. 7, 2019. Photo: US Navy