US destroyer exits Black Sea after drills in Georgia

US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) exited the Black Sea after nine days of operations in the region.

The destroyer transited the Bosphorus Strait en route to the Mediterranean Sea on January 28 after a port visit to Batumi, Georgia, and training with the country’s coast guard assets.

While in Batumi, the ship met with local officials, participated in a sports day with the Georgian Coast Guard, conducted a tree-planting community relations event, and held a reception for Ross Wilson, US ambassador to Georgia.

“Our time in the Black Sea, including our port visit to Batumi, Georgia, was extremely beneficial to the entire crew,” said Cmdr. Matthew J. Powel, commanding officer of Donald Cook.

Following the port visit, Donald Cook and the Georgian Coast Guard conducted a maritime exercise featuring integrated visit, board, search and seizure scenarios.

“Our port visit and operations with the Georgian coast guard provided a tremendous opportunity to enhance our overall operability,” said Powel. “Visits like these are beneficial for both the U.S. and our allies and partners in the region, and we look forward to returning.”

This is Donald Cook’s eighth forward-deployed naval forces patrol since arriving at Naval Station Rota, Spain, in February 2014. While on patrol, Donald Cook is scheduled to continue naval operations in the US 6th Fleet area of operations in Europe and Africa.

Photo: USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) sails alongside Georgian coast guard ships in the Black Sea, Jan. 25, 2019. Photo: US Navy