Home » Foreign Forces » Russia Sends Frigate to Mediterranean Following U.S. Retaliation Strike; U.S. Destroyers Remain On Station

Russia Sends Frigate to Mediterranean Following U.S. Retaliation Strike; U.S. Destroyers Remain On Station

Russian Admiral Grigorovich frigate leaving the Black Sea on April 7, 2017 following US Tomahawk strikes in Syria. Photo by Alper Böler used with permission

The Russian Navy has sent its most advanced Black Sea frigate into the Eastern Mediterranean on Friday following a U.S. missile strike on a Syrian airfield, according to ship spotters in Turkey.

Guided missile frigate Admiral Grigorovich – based in Sevastopol, Crimea – passed through the Bosporus Strait early Friday into the Mediterranean only hours after two U.S. guided missile destroyers fired 59 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles that targeted the al-Shayrat Airfield in central Syria.

Ship spotter Yörük Işık told USNI News the frigate was only in port for nine days before heading back to the Mediterranean and crossing the strait shortly after the U.S. strike.

The 4,000-ton frigate fields up to eight of the Russian Kalibir NK long range land attack cruise missiles – first used operationally in 2015 from Russian Navy ships in the Caspian Sea to strike targets in Syria.

Russian Admiral Grigorovich frigate leaving the Black Sea on April 7, 2017 following US Tomahawk strikes in Syria. Yörük Işık Photo used with permission

Late last year, Grigorovich operated with the Kuznetsov carrier strike group off of Syria and fired missiles in support of the Russian-Syrian assault against rebels in Aleppo in November.

The Kremlin was quick to condemn the strike on the Syrian airfield which the U.S. alleges was the point of origin for a Tuesday chemical weapons attack on the city of Khan Sheikhoun. The strike by Assad government forces is believed to have killed dozens.

Russian and Syrian officials placed the blame on the strike on Islamic State forces.

USS Porter (DDG-78) crossing the Bosporus Strait on June 6, 2016. Bosporus Naval News Photo used with permission

As for the U.S., a Navy official on Friday told USNI News that destroyers USS Porter (DDG-78) and USS Ross (DDG-71) would continue a presence mission in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The ships are part of a quartet of U.S. destroyers that are forward deployed to Rota, Spain to primarily conduct ballistic missile defense operations in protection of Western Europe. However, the proximity of the ships to Syria and the ease of rearming them following Thursday’s strike made Ross and Porter ideal for the mission, the official said.

“Having these four ships forward deployed to the Med has been a huge help and it gives [leaders] this fast strike option,” the official said.

On Friday, the head of U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa praised the crews of the destroyers.

“I just want to say that the commanding officers of both those ships, Russ Caldwell and Andria Slough,
performed magnificently, along with their crews,” said Adm. Michelle Howard in a statement provided to USNI News.
“What is also important is that this was a cross-combatant commander mission, and that the integration of the operations cells and all of the teams supporting from the planning to the execution was just flawless. It’s an example of the strength of the United States Navy and our ability to project power around the globe.”

The Tomahawk strike was the largest combined use of missiles since the first day Operation Odyssey Dawn on March 19, 2011 in which the Navy launched more than 100 Tomahawks from destroyers and nuclear guided missile submarine USS Florida (SSGN-728) against Muammar Gaddafi regime forces.

  • John Sprague

    I wonder how close are Russian submarines to our ships? Since Oct 3 nuclear subs were in the channels
    And playing cat and mouse with the military.

  • Ian Cook

    I thought we were supposed to be in love with Russia?

    • Anonymous101

      Two power hungry narcissists can get along as long as they both flatter each other. But when they have a disagreement, it’s not pretty and we all pay the price 🙁

  • bob

    Looks like we are going to war again,. unbelievable, and now maybe WW3.

    • RedStatePatriot

      Drama Queen much?

      • bob

        We do not need to get into another war.

        • Oskar

          Stick your head back in the sand.


    Don’t they want it anymore?

    • Vlad Pufagtinenko


  • Henry Mercado

    Yeah right. Does somebody forgets about air support basically any where near the Mediterranean? I’ll dear the Russians to do it. I’ll volunteer if they do. They know better! !!!

  • Rockin’ Band Mom

    Just making an observation here…Not trying to post anything in favor of or against any political party…but IF Russia had ANYTHING to do with Trump getting elected then I am beginning to feel that it was because Putin was becoming bored and hoped for someone to give him something to do such as War Games. I feel Putin just got what he wanted…a worthy opponent in a high stakes “chess game!” I feel as if Putin just said, “AAAAAAHHHH-HA-HA!!! Game on!”

    • Pablo Jay

      Nope, Putin allowed his childish dislike of Clinton to colour his judgement. If some of the Trump team colluded with Russian Intelligence to help spread disinformation during the US Election campaign, he wasted his effort because the GOP was never going to be Putins backer.
      He also thought sanctions would be swept aside, with the allegations floating around, thats not going to happen.
      I must say its rather amusing to see Putin wrong-footed like this, he had a field day for 9 years but now the party is over.
      I have never seen Putin as lost for words as he has been since January 20.

  • muzzleloader

    The MED is an international body of water, with US & Russian warships coming and going as they have for my entire lifetime. I do not believe that Putin is going to start WW3 over a destroyed Syrian airbase. I believe this is a non- story.

    • Vlad Pufagtinenko

      Good job comrade

      • muzzleloader

        Spasebo Tovarish!

    • Soulblueyed

      Finally something Sensible!

  • James Morris

    Trump says ” Go head make my day. Do you feel lucky punk ? Well do you”

  • Catdog

    An attack on a sovereign nation without a declaration of war.
    “A dastardly and unprovoked attack”

    History is strange.

  • Haole Jon

    “Ship spotter Yörük Işık told USNI News the frigate was only in port for nine days before heading back to the Mediterranean.” Really, ‘only’ nine days? They could have taken POM leave….

  • Smokes

    I like how most of the people commenting here are patriotic Americans who seem to have no idea what they are on about
    yes the Russian warship is a possible threat to the 2 US destroyers but it is highly unlikely it will engage in combat with the destroyers and will be doing “reconnaissance” like Russia has done time and time again in the past
    if Russia were to go to war the dont have the military power to take on all of NATO due to them only having around 7,000 to 8,000 tanks they actually use and about 10,00 ready to be scrapped and sold off.

    • Pablo Jay

      For me, the Grigorovich was already going to Tartus, its just another opportunity to get the ship and crew some Operational training in a live area of operations, they will soak up emissions and test their gear and crew, against ours, it has always been thus.
      Maybe it will chuck a few missiles at some rebel positions.

  • kicknrush

    Thanks for the excellent video. I enjoyed it in full length.
    This was long overdue.

  • Jerry J

    The reality should be that Russia looks like a big brother to a F#*& up Leader that kills its own people.. thats real. Now some may say Trump is just about anything but our President,I think Not. for 8 years ,No one in this world to help humanity except someone that finally understands this world in which we are in today .Trump did the right move will Russia behave?

  • Vlad Pufagtinenko

    Putin’s regular army and Spetznaz troops are being taken out by Ukrainian military comrade. Russians are only good at ending the lives of unarmed women and children

    • AmPatriotSmith

      You seem pro American to me. Good.

  • Mark

    From what I’ve read the Russian frigate has an endurance period of only 30 days. That means it then has to return to some base or facility to refuel, rearm, take on food and water, etc.
    Sounds like a light weight to me.

    • Pablo Jay


  • realityanvil

    And you’re bragging about that fact? That’s like saying Paris Hilton is less of a whore than Kim Kardashian.

    • pwrserge

      It’s also far less communist than the US after Obama.

  • Bush

    One missile fired between them and everyone loses…..who sinks means less than nothing….

  • Charles Spencer III

    How about this: America sides with Federal Reserve to preserve the money value to offset the Triffon Delima. Turkey supplies gas to Syrian rebels to target civilians. The move is set to intimidate Syrians to spur the civil war which has almost ended. All this to stop oil being sold in 3rd world middle eastern countries to raise the value of oil in Saudi Arabia. This in return adds value to the dollar……… See Dirty war in Syria by Tim Anderson……..

  • John Gagne

    Donald Trump will not back down to a man protecting a war criminal!

  • Rubber Duck 1

    Has anyone seen a US or Russian Submarine?

    • Oskar

      Kind of defeats the purpose if they’re spotted….

  • Vlad Pufagtinenko

    You’re just angry because your grandmother said Bandera was the best she ever had

  • The Hope

    Russia should remain calm, but not allow the US to get anywhere closer. Annexing Donbass is now a possibility. Estonia and Latvia will follow.

    • Oskar

      Russia needs to leave the Ukraine and EVERY OTHER country it’s INVADED.

  • Rubber Duck 2

    Has anyone seen a US or Russian Submarine ? Comment has been deleted come on Sam you can do better than that.

  • netaloid

    Just curious, but if execution of this mission was so flawless, why did the missiles not put even a rut in either one of the airfields?

    • Oskar

      They didn’t target the runways….

  • Mark Steele

    Trump is no John F. Kennedy. That’s a warning for Putin.

  • RDF

    Shades of Mod-Kashin days. When it looks hinky you ram this small boy and sail away. We have a treaty for collision at sea.

  • SueandJohn KestrelHaven

    Big deal hyping the timing when a Montreux Convention declaration was initiated days ago. Less hype in USNI writing please.

  • RobM1981

    Can the Burke’s replenish Tomahawks underway? If so, they should definitely do so now. It always gives the other guy “pause” when they see that kind of thing. This has always been one of the many things that differentiates the pro’s from the amateurs – the ability to move and use logistics, including underway munitions replenishment.

    “Our ships aren’t only here; they’re back at full strength again…”

    Very nice, if we have that capability for Tomahawks.

    • Pablo Jay

      I remember the USN trying to UNREP missiles into VLS cells and it was dropped as being to dangerous?
      I would rather do that dockside.

  • Oskar

    Oh, you’re wrong suka.

    • pwrserge

      Oh, you’re a cretin.