The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) began its northbound international strait transit en route to the Black Sea June 17, to conduct maritime security operations and enhance regional maritime stability, combined readiness, and naval capability with our NATO allies and partners in the region.

This is the third time a U.S. Navy ship has conducted operations in the Black Sea in 2020 and the second time for Porter, which visited the Black Sea in April. While in the Black Sea, and with the support of partners and allies, Porter will remain safely at sea, focusing on operational requirements and executing national tasking during the COVID-19 response, the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine reported.

"Porter's presence in the Black Sea is crucial to building a secure maritime environment and ensuring freedom of navigation," said Cmdr. Craig Trent, commanding officer of Porter. "Porter and her crew look forward to operating in the Black Sea alongside our allies and partners in support of mutual maritime interests in the region."

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"The ship's operations in the Black Sea will strengthen interoperability with NATO allies and partners and demonstrate the collective resolve to Black Sea security," the report reads.

Porter recently completed operations in the Barents Sea alongside USS Donald Cook (DDG 75), USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), the fast combat support ship USNS Supply (T-AOE 6), and the Royal Navy frigate HMS Kent (F 78) to assert freedom of navigation and demonstrate seamless integration among allies.

Porter, forward-deployed to Naval Station Rota, Spain, is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe. The U.S. Navy routinely operates in the Black Sea consistent with international law, including the Montreux Convention.

U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.