January 28, 2019 – USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) began its south-bound transit of the Bosphorus Strait, en route to the Mediterranean Sea Jan. 28 after conducting maritime security operations and enhancing regional maritime stability, combined readiness and naval capability with our NATO allies and partners in the Black Sea.
While in the Black Sea, Donald Cook conducted a successful port visit in Batumi, Georgia. While in Batumi, the ship met with local officials, participated in a sports day with the Georgian Coast Guard, conducted a tree-planting community relations event, and held a reception for Ross Wilson, U.S. Ambassador to Georgia.
“Our time in the Black Sea, including our port visit to Batumi, Georgia, was extremely beneficial to the entire crew,” said Cmdr. Matthew J. Powel, commanding officer of Donald Cook.”
Following the port visit, Donald Cook and the Georgian Coast Guard conducted a maritime exercise featuring integrated visit, board, search and seizure scenarios.
“Our port visit and operations with the Georgian coast guard provided a tremendous opportunity to enhance our overall operability,” said Powel. “Visits like these are beneficial for both the U.S. and our allies and partners in the region, and we look forward to returning.”
Donald Cook entered the Black Sea on Jan. 19, 2019, to strengthen interoperability with NATO allies and partners and demonstrate the collective resolve to Black Sea security under Operation Atlantic Resolve.
The U.S. Navy routinely operates in the Black Sea consistent with the Montreux Convention and international law.
This is Donald Cook’s eighth forward-deployed naval forces patrol since arriving at Naval Station Rota, Spain, in February 2014. While on patrol, Donald Cook is scheduled to continue naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa.