USS Donald Cook exits Blacks Sea, closely followed by Russian frigate

US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) transited the Bosphorous Strait on March 1, wrapping up ten days of Black Sea operations.

While in the Black Sea, the ship conducted operations at sea with the Turkish Navy and completed a port visit to Odesa, Ukraine in support of our NATO allies and regional partners.

Exiting the Black Sea, the destroyer was closely followed by the Russian Navy’s Project 11356 frigate Admiral Essen which departed her Sevastopol homeport on February 28 to start a Mediterranean Sea deployment. Once in the Mediterranean, Admiral Essen will replace sister ship Admiral Makarov.

“There is no substitute for the forward presence provided by USS Donald Cook and our other forward-deployed DDGs stationed in Rota,” said Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander, US 6th Fleet. “The multi-mission capability of these warships is essential to our ability to routinely train with our NATO and partner maritime forces and enhance our collective interoperability. This ensures US 6th Fleet remains ready to support requirements across the full spectrum of maritime operations.”

Donald Cook entered the Black Sea on Feb. 19, to strengthen interoperability with NATO allies and partners. The destroyer is the third US naval vessel to conduct operations in the Black Sea in 2019, marking the fourth US ship to visit Odesa since January 2018. In January, Donald Cook and Fort McHenry conducted port visits to Georgia and Romania, respectively.

Photo: US Navy photo of USS Donald Cook departing Odessa, Ukraine.

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