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Guided-Missile Destroyer USS James E. Williams Enters the Black Sea

USS James E. Williams entering the Black Sea on Nov. 26, 2017. Photo byYörük Işık‏ used with permission.

USS James E. Williams (DDG-95) was spotted transiting the Bosporus Strait over the weekend, heading into the Black Sea.

While heading to the Black Sea, photos of the guided missile destroyer were tweeted Sunday by amateur ship spotters in Istanbul. The ship is expected to make a port call to Odessa, Ukraine, a Navy spokesperson told USNI News.

James E. Williams deployed from homeport in Norfolk on May 23 and has been sailing in both the Navy’s 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation. According to the 1936 Montreux Convention, the international agreement regulating sea traffic through the Bosporus Strait, James E. Williams can only remain in the Black Sea for a maximum of 21 days. When the ship left Norfolk in May, the crew expected to be home for Christmas, according to news reports.

The last U.S. Navy ship to visit the Black Sea was USS Porter (DDG-78), which departed on September 1 after finishing the Operation Atlantic Resolve exercise in August, according to a Navy statement.

  • Chesapeakeguy

    God speed to her and her crew…

  • BanBait

    Why are we getting Russia’s grill like this? What conceivable reason do we have to be there other than, “we can”? It would seem to me that some circuits around the South China Sea are far more warranted and strategically sound than putting around a backwater like the Black Sea.

    • Sean

      You mean in the waters where largest inter-state landgrab of the last 20 years took place and is still unsettled, or the waters bordered by several of our small, nervous allies and one big, wavering ‘ally’?

    • Jerry Patterson

      The why is fairly easy to understand from a historical perspective. During the Cold War the Black Sea was a Warsaw Pact sea and the US/NATO were shut out of it. When the US Navy finally sent a ship there one of the Warsaw Pact Navies actually tried to ‘body slam’ the US ship out of the way. It has taken a lot of effort to ensure we [the USA and NATO] can perform Freedom of Navigation (FoM) passages and work with our allies.

      • El Kabong

        The Black Sea access is controlled by NATO member, Turkey.

    • El Kabong

      Why is Russia INVADING countries?