UPDATED: USS Monterey, USS Thomas Hudner Enter Black Sea for ‘Multi-Domain’ Operations

March 19, 2021 5:42 PM - Updated: March 22, 2021 6:47 AM
USS Monterey transited Bosphorus towards the Black Sea on March 19, 2021. Photo by Yörük Işık‏ used with permission

A guided-missile cruiser and guided-missile destroyer that deployed with the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group is now operating in the Black Sea after transiting the Bosphorus on Friday, according to U.S. 6th Fleet.

USS Monterey (CG-61) transited and worked with USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) operating in the Mediterranean Sea, Carrier Air Wing 3, Navy P-8A Poseidons, U.S. Air Force aircraft based in Europe and allied aircraft for unspecified “multi-domain operations, according to U.S. 6th Fleet’s Twitter account.

USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116) entered the Black Sea on Saturday.

Monterey’s presence in the Black Sea reinforces our continued commitment to operate with our NATO Allies,” Monterey commander Capt. Joseph A. Baggett said in a statement. “Together, we enhance security and stability in the region through cooperation, understanding and collaboration.”

Over the weekend, the pair worked with F/A-18E/F Super Hornets from the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group’s Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3, Turkish and U.S. Air Forces Europe and Africa KC-135s, a Navy P-8A from Task Force 67 and NATO aircraft, according to 6th Fleet.

Monterey entered the Black Sea after drilling with the Israeli Navy this week in the Mediterranean Sea. The cruiser patrolled with two Israeli Sa’ar 4.5 ships in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea on March 15.

Likewise, Eisenhower drilled with the Turkish frigate TCG Gemlik (F-492) on Thursday.

USS Thomas Hudner transited Bosphorus towards the Black Sea on March 20, 2021. Photo by Yörük Işık‏ used with permission

“It is a pleasure working with our Turkish Allies and continuing to build upon a 70-year foundation of shared values and experiences,” said Rear Adm. Scott Robertson, commander of Carrier Strike Group 2.

Earlier this year, two U.S. guided-missile destroyers – USS Porter (DDG-78), USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) – and the fleet oiler USNS Laramie (T-AO-203) simultaneously operated in the Black Sea.

Monterey is the first U.S. cruiser to operate in the Black Sea since USS Hué City (CG-66) in 2017, according to the ship spotting site Bosphorus Naval News.

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
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