Operating alongside the destroyers USS Donald Cook and USS Porter, two Turkish frigates, the TCG Orucreis and TCG Turgutreis, and two Turkish F-16 fighters plus U.S Navy P-8 Squadron VP-46 ‘Grey Knights’, participated in their first joint air and maritime training mission in the Black Sea.
The U.S Navy say that these operations with Turkish naval forces serve to fortify the importance and unique benefit of the maritime alliance with NATO partners.
“Opportunities to operate with U.S. and NATO forces in the Black Sea not only supports the monitoring of the international maritime domain, but also improve integrations across multiple Navies”, said Cmdr. James Imlah, deputy commander, Task Force 67.
“This makes us a more prepared and effective combined fighting force.”
Since January 2021, when the USS Donald Cook entered the Black Sea along with the USS Porter, VP-46 provided direct support to their operations.
“We assisted in the exercise of freedom of navigation of both international airspace and water, and provided extended range surveillance of surface and sub-surface ships in the operational area,” stated Lt. Cmdr. Stokes, CTG-67.1 Tactical Operations Officer and Patrol Plane Commander.
VP-46, along with the DDGs, joined Turkish NATO allies for an integrated surface, air, and subsurface warfare exercise, thus strengthening U.S. security collaboration with Turkey in the Black Sea and the surrounding maritime environment.