U.S. Navy frigate USS Taylor (FFG-50) has returned to the Black Sea for the second time in as many months, service officials told USNI News on Wednesday.
The ship is now one of three NATO ships in the Black Sea joining the ballistic missile defense (BMD) guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) and the French ship signals intelligence ship Dupuy de Lôme (A759), according to local press reports.
The frigate is part of a U.S. presence mission to reassure allies in the region following political unrest in Ukraine that resulted in the annexation of Crimea by Russian forces.
“Taylor is deployed in a multi-mission role in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations to contribute to regional maritime security, conduct bilateral and multilateral training missions, and to support NATO operations and deployments throughout the region,” according to a Tuesday statement from U.S. 6th Fleet.
The ship recently returned from an unscheduled maintenance period at Souda Bay, Greece after running aground attempting to moor in Turkey in February.
Donald Cook and Dupuy de Lôme entered the Black Sea on April 10.
Taylor’s stay in the Black Sea from Feb. 5 to March 9, was deemed by the Russian government as a violation of the so-called 1936 Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits.
Montreux rules call for warships from countries with out a coast on the Black Sea to depart after 21 days.
U.S. officials said it would abide by the Montreux convention, according a report in Stars and Stripes.
Since the annexation of the Crimea, military tensions between Russia and U.S. have been the highest in recent memory.
U.S. paratroopers were scheduled to arrive in Poland today for a series of exercises to reassure allies. Bilateral exercises are also planned for Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia.
Earlier this month a Sukhoi SU-24 Fencer buzzed Donald Cook in what the Pentagon called, a “provocative” action.