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US Missile Destroyer to Enter Black Sea July 5

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The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) is scheduled to enter the Black Sea, July 5, 2015, the US Navy said on its website Sunday.

US Destroyer Laboon

“Porter’s presence in the Black Sea will serve to reaffirm the US’ dedication and commitment toward strengthening the partnerships and joint operational capabilities amongst US, NATO and regional Black Sea partners,” the statement said.The Porter’s commanding officer, Commander Blair Guy, said that “engagement from US Navy ships operating in the Black Sea not only strengthens relationships with our allies but also contributes to the overall stability in the region.”

A similar Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, the USS Laboon (DDG 58), entered the Black Sea late last month to practice anti-aircraft defense with Romanian Navy corvette Admiral Eustatiu Sebastian in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

The Laboon then paid a brief port visit to Batumi, Georgia on June 26, 2015 Laboon to participate in a bilateral engagement underway with the Georgian Coast Guard.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the NATO armed forces have notably ramped up their military training activity close to Russian borders in the past eighteen months, with Russia seen as the most likely hypothetical target.