US destroyer, NATO ships enter Black Sea after Dardanelles Strait transit

US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook and ships from NATO’s Standing Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCMG2) entered the Black Sea on February 19.

Donald Cook entered the Black Sea after last visiting the region in January 2019, when it visited Batumi, Georgia and conducted an exercise with two Georgian Coast Guard ships.

The destroyer is scheduled to stop in Port of Odessa, Ukraine, for a port call.

Entering the Black Sea on the same day were German Navy replenishment oiler FGS Werra and Turkish minesweeper TCG Akçakoca from NATO’s SNMCMG2. The two ships spent time in Istanbul before resuming their operations. Once in the Black Sea, they were joined by Bulgarian mine hunter BGS Tsibar. The group is also to be joined by Romanian minesweeper ROS Lt. Lupu Dinescu.

SNMCMG2 will visit Varna, Bulgaria, between February 22 and 25 before heading to Constanța, Romania. Romania is set to host the mine countermeasure exercise Poseidon 2019 early March.

Photo: Photo: NATO