USS Taylor Passed Through The Bosphorus

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USS Taylor passing through Bosphorus. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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USS Taylor passing through Bosphorus. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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USS Taylor passing through Bosphorus. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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USS Taylor passing through Bosphorus. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

44 days later US Navy frigate FFG-50 USS Taylor returned to the Black Sea. On her own power.
The Perry class frigate was deployed to the Black Sea before the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games started. USS Taylor and the flag-ship of the US 6th Fleet USS Mount Whitney were send to the Black Sea to help with the evacuation of US athletes and spectators in case of a terror attack to the Games.
USS Taylor had a grounding in Samsun harbour on 12 February 2014 as she arrived here for refueling. Her only propeller was damaged during the accident and all the work done to repair the ship turned out to be not effective. US Navy contracted the company DonJon specialized in marine salvage and towing, to tow USS Taylor to Souda Crete where her propeller hub and blades were replaced.

There are no information about her current deployment to the Black Sea.

For further reading:
USS Taylor Passed Through Bosphorus Being Towed
USS Taylor Departs Samsun
USS Taylor Commanding Officer Relieved of Duty
Update On USS Taylor
USS Taylor Damaged In Samsun
USS Taylor In Samsun

Dolphins On Bosphorus

A school of Dolphins enjoying their freedom of navigation in Bosphorus. Their nationalities was not identified.

A school of Dolphins enjoying their freedom of navigation in Bosphorus. Their nationalities were not identified.

On 21 April the Russian RIA Novosti website published an article speculating that US military-trained dolphins and sea lions will participate in upcoming NATO military exercises in the Black Sea. And the source of this speculation was a report on Russian Izvestiya newspaper.

The paper, citing a spokesman for the US Navy’s marine mammals program, said some 20 dolphins and 10 sea lions will participate in exercises.
The exercises will test new equipment designed to “disorient enemy sonars, while sea lions and dolphins are looking for mines and military divers,” the newspaper wrote.
The exercises will be held under the marine mammals’ training program, which trains animals to protect ships and harbors and detect mines.
“In addition, we plan to test new armor for dolphins developed by a specialized research center based in the University of Hawaii,” the newspaper said, citing spokesman Tom LaPuzza.
The animals are to be airlifted to Ukraine. This will be the first NATO drill to involve military dolphins. The US military now has more than 100 bottlenose dolphins, California sea lions and beluga whales, according to LaPuzza.
The exercises are planned to last no longer than two weeks. Under an international agreement, the maximum permitted duration of stay for countries that do not have access to the Black Sea is 21 days.
It was previously announced that Russia will also use dolphins in its Black Sea navy missions. Military dolphins and sea lions that were undergoing training for the Ukrainian Navy before the Crimean Peninsula was reunited with Russia last month have been transferred to the Russian Navy.

This almost absurd story was quickly denied by US Navy.

The U.S. Navy says there’s no truth to a widely circulating report that its mine-hunting dolphins are heading for the Black Sea, where the Russian Navy has recently taken control of Ukraine’s military-trained dolphins.

The report popped up on the Russian newspaper Izvestia’s website on Monday, in connection with claims that NATO countries might participate in military exercises with Ukraine or other nations in the Black Sea region this summer.
The report includes extensive quotes from a a source that Izvestia identified as Navy spokesman Tom LaPuzza — and it spawned follow-up items at online outlets ranging from the Daily Mail to The Wire to International Business Times UK.
Such items caught the attention of Ed Budzyna, who really is a spokesman for the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program in San Diego. For decades, the Navy has been training dolphins and seals to identify explosives, mines and other foreign objects underwater — as have the Russians and Ukrainians.

Budzyna noted that LaPuzza had been a spokesman for the Marine Mammal Program years back, but no longer. Efforts to contact LaPuzza, and efforts to figure out how Izvestia got its information, have so far been unsuccessful

I will look with a different eye to the dolphins I see in (on?) Bosphorus from now on.

Russian Warship Movements Through Turkish Straits (Part 47)

Yesterday, on 17 April 2014,  3 Ropucha class landing ships have made a southbound passage trough Bosphorus. Either Mr. Assad is in dire need for Russian supplies and weapons or this is a diversion attempt from the Ukrainian crises.

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Russian warship 127 Minsk making a southbound passage through Bosphorus. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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Russian warship 127 Minsk making a southbound passage through Bosphorus. Photo: Yasemin Dora. Used with permission.

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Russian warship 127 Minsk making a southbound passage through Bosphorus. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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Russian warship 142 Novocharkassk making a southbound passage through Bosphorus. Photo: Ahmet Böler. Used with permission.

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Russian warship 142 Novocharkassk making a southbound passage through Bosphorus. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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Russian warship 142 Novocharkassk making a southbound passage through Bosphorus.

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Russian warship 016 Georgiy Pobedonosets making a southbound passage through Bosphorus. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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Russian warship 016 Georgiy Pobedonosets making a southbound passage through Bosphorus

The list of Russian warship movements in 2014:

Date Number Name Direction
02/01/14 016 Georgiy Pobedonosets Northbound
02/01/14 156 Yamal Northbound
18/01/14 016 Georgiy Pobedonosets Southbound
18/01/14 151 Azov Southbound
27/01/14 102 Kaliningrad Southbound
01/02/14 016 Georgiy Pobedonosets Northbound
01/02/14 151 Azov Northbound
07/02/14 810 Smetlivy Northbound
10/02/14 016 Georgiy Pobedonosets Southbound
10/02/14 151 Azov Southbound
20/02/14 150 Saratov Southbound
20/02/14 156 Yamal Southbound
26/02/14 102 Kaliningrad Northbound
26/02/14 127 Minsk Northbound
04/03/14 150 Saratov Northbound
04/03/14 156 Yamal Northbound
23/03/14 012 Olenegorskiy Gorniak Southbound
23/03/14 102 Kaliningrad Southbound
23/03/14 127 Minsk Southbound
03/04/14 012 Olenegorskiy Gorniak Northbound
03/04/14 102 Kaliningrad Southbound
10/04/14 150 Saratov Southbound
10/04/14 156 Yamal Southbound
11/04/14 138 PM-138 Southbound
12/04/14 MB-304 MB-304 Southbound
17/04/14 016 Georgiy Pobedonosets Southbound
17/04/14 127 Minsk Southbound
17/04/14 142 Novocharkassk Southbound

I have archived the list of the Russian ship movements in 2013.

Russian Warship Movements Through Turkish Straits (Part 46)

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Russian repair ship PM-138 passing through Bosphorus. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

On 11 April 2014, Friday the Amur class repair ship from Russian Black Sea Fleet PM-138 passed through Bosphorus on her Syrian deployment. This means that PM-56 currently stationed in Tartus Syria will be returning home soon.

The list of Russian warship movements in 2014:

Date Number Name Direction
02/01/14 016 Georgiy Pobedonosets Northbound
02/01/14 156 Yamal Northbound
18/01/14 016 Georgiy Pobedonosets Southbound
18/01/14 151 Azov Southbound
27/01/14 102 Kaliningrad Southbound
01/02/14 016 Georgiy Pobedonosets Northbound
01/02/14 151 Azov Northbound
07/02/14 810 Smetlivy Northbound
10/02/14 016 Georgiy Pobedonosets Southbound
10/02/14 151 Azov Southbound
20/02/14 150 Saratov Southbound
20/02/14 156 Yamal Southbound
26/02/14 102 Kaliningrad Northbound
26/02/14 127 Minsk Northbound
04/03/14 150 Saratov Northbound
04/03/14 156 Yamal Northbound
23/03/14 012 Olenegorskiy Gorniak Southbound
23/03/14 102 Kaliningrad Southbound
23/03/14 127 Minsk Southbound
03/04/14 012 Olenegorskiy Gorniak Northbound
03/04/14 102 Kaliningrad Southbound
10/04/14 150 Saratov Southbound
10/04/14 156 Yamal Southbound
11/04/14 138 PM-138 Southbound
12/04/14 MB-304 MB-304 Southbound

I have archived the list of the Russian ship movements in 2013.

Turkish Warship Movements Through Bosphorus

These are the photos from the passages of Turkish warships through Bosphorus in the last 10 days.

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Unidentified Turkish Preveze or Gür class submarine making a southbound passage through Bosphorus as she was returning from Deniz Yıldızı 2104 naval exercise on 11 April 2014. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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Turkish frigate F-244 TCG Barbaros making a southbound passage through Bosphorus as she was returning from Deniz Yıldızı 2104 naval exercise on 11 April 2014. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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The frigates F-247 TCG Kemalreis and F-241 TCG Fatih on a northbound passage through Bosphorus on 7 April 2014. They are deploying for her Deniz Yıldızı 2014 naval exercise. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used With Permission

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The frigate F-247 TCG Kemalireis on a northbound passage through Bosphorus on 7 April 2014. She is deploying for her Deniz Yıldızı 2014 naval exercise. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used With Permission

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The mine hunter M-517 TCG Sapanca and the frigate F-246 TCG Salihreis on a northbound passage through Bosphorus on 7 April 2014. They are deploying for her Deniz Yıldızı 2014 naval exercise. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used With Permission

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The mine hunter M-516 TCG Sigacık, on a northbound passage through Bosphorus on 7 April 2014. She is on her way for her Deniz Yıldızı 2014 naval exercise deployment. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used With Permission

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A-579 TCG Cezayirli Gazi Hasan Paşa on a northbound passage through Bosphorus on 6 April 2014. She is on her way for her Deniz Yıldızı 2014 naval exercise deployment. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used With Permission.

FS Dupuy de Lôme Passed Through Turkish Straits

Today the French intelligence collection ship FS Dupuy de Lôme passed through Turkish Straits too, following the US destroyer USS Donald Cook.

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French spy ship FS Dupuy de Lôme passing through the Bosphorus. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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French spy ship FS Dupuy de Lôme passing through the Bosphorus. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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French spy ship FS Dupuy de Lôme passing through the Bosphorus. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

The French Navy has been usually active in last couple of weeks in this region:

On 28 March 2014, FS Alizé, diving support ship used by the French external intelligence agency passed through Turkish Straits. She took part in a naval exercise in Varna, Bulgaria. I have no idea about her present whereabouts, but she could be still in the Black Sea.

On 7 April 2014, FS Var, replenishment tanker arrived in Marmaris for a 3 day port visit.

On 14 April 2014 we expect the destroyer FS Dupleix to pass through the Turkish Straits.

But by far the intelligence gathering ship FS Dupuy de Lôme will be the most controversial one. She is fitted with COMINT and ELINT equipment.  Her helicopter pad might be used to launch and recover unmanned air vehicles which can carry additional intelligence gathering sensors. According to Jane’s Fighting Ship,  the ship is available for 350 days a year and active for 240 days.

May be France is better in making strategic communication at a level that can be correctly interpreted by Russians by sending two spy ships to the back yard of the Russians.

USS Donald Cook Passed Through Turkish Straits

Today the long-awaited US warship, Arleigh Burke class destroyer DDG-75 USS Donald Cook passed through Turkish Straits.

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Arleigh Burke class (Flight II) class destroyer DDG-75 USS Donald Cook passing through Bosphorus. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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Arleigh Burke class (Flight II) class destroyer DDG-75 USS Donald Cook passing through Bosphorus. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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Arleigh Burke class (Flight II) class destroyer DDG-75 USS Donald Cook passing through Bosphorus. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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Arleigh Burke class (Flight II) class destroyer DDG-75 USS Donald Cook passing through Bosphorus. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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Arleigh Burke class (Flight II) class destroyer DDG-75 USS Donald Cook passing through Bosphorus. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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Arleigh Burke class (Flight II) class destroyer DDG-75 USS Donald Cook passing through Bosphorus. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

She has entered to the Dardanelles at 07.00 in the morning and passed through Bosphorus at 16.00.

She is the second warship USA has send to the Black Sea since the start of the Crimean crisis. The other ship was DDG-103 USS Truxtun.

The Russian Foreign Ministry is fuming against Turkey over the practice of the Montreux Convention. But I remember very well back in 2008 they were praising Turkey over the practice of Montreux Convention when due to technical limitations US Navy hospital ships were not allowed to pass through Turkish Straits.

The arrival of a new US Navy warship to the Black Sea will not make things easier and she is not only non-Black Sea Navy ship in the region. The French warship FS Alizé is  believed still to be in the Black Sea and today the French ELINT/SIGINT ship FS Dupuy de Lôme also passed through the Bosphorus.

And there are still 7 frigates, 1 corvette, 2 submarines, 8 fast attack craft, 1 mine hunter, 3 auxiliaries of Turkish Navy in the Black Sea. These units have not returned from the Deniz Yıldızı 2014 exercise yet.

Russian Warship Movements Through Turkish Straits (Part 45)

Russian warship Yamal passing through the Dardanelles. Photo: DHA.

Russian warship Yamal passing through the Dardanelles. Photo: DHA.

Yesterday, two Russian landing ships, the Alligator class 150 Saratov and Ropucha class 156 Yamal have passed through Dardanelles as they going for their Syrian Express deployment.

The list of Russian warship movements in 2014:

Date Number Name Direction
02/01/14 016 Georgiy Pobedonosets Northbound
02/01/14 156 Yamal Northbound
18/01/14 016 Georgiy Pobedonosets Southbound
18/01/14 151 Azov Southbound
27/01/14 102 Kaliningrad Southbound
01/02/14 016 Georgiy Pobedonosets Northbound
01/02/14 151 Azov Northbound
07/02/14 810 Smetlivy Northbound
10/02/14 016 Georgiy Pobedonosets Southbound
10/02/14 151 Azov Southbound
20/02/14 150 Saratov Southbound
20/02/14 156 Yamal Southbound
26/02/14 102 Kaliningrad Northbound
26/02/14 127 Minsk Northbound
04/03/14 150 Saratov Northbound
04/03/14 156 Yamal Northbound
23/03/14 012 Olenegorskiy Gorniak Southbound
23/03/14 102 Kaliningrad Southbound
23/03/14 127 Minsk Southbound
03/04/14 012 Olenegorskiy Gorniak Northbound
03/04/14 102 Kaliningrad Southbound
10/04/14 150 Saratov Southbound
10/04/14 156 Yamal Southbound

I have archived the list of the Russian ship movements in 2013.

Turkish Warships On Bosphorus

The last few days we were able to witness a couple of Turkish warships on Bosphorus.

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A-579 TCG Cezayirli Hasan Paşa Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

The Rhein class tender, A-579 TCG Cezayirli Hasan Paşa is a ship with many missions. She and her sister TCG Sokullu Mehmet Paşa are used for the training cruises of midshipmen of Turkish Naval Academy. The two ships are also employed as flagships of fleets when necessary. TCG Cezayirli Hasan Paşa was the flag ship of NATO’s SNMCMG-2 in 2012.

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TCG Ç-138

TCG Ç-138 is one of the 13 landing craft build in 80′sand 90′s. The older landing craft is being replaced by the newer generation which is almost 10 knots faster than these old workhorses.

P305

P-305 TCG Ağ-5

TCG Ağ-5 stated her life as a boom vessel in 1960. She was constructed in Germany by US funding for Turkish Navy. Since anti submarine nets are soo out dated this ship is used for miscellaneous duties.

Russian Warship Movements Through Turkish Straits (Part 44)

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012 Olenegorskiy Gorniak passing through the Bosphorus. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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012 Olenegorskiy Gorniak passing through the Bosphorus. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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102 Kaliningrad passing through the Bosphorus. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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102 Kaliningrad passing through the Bosphorus. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

This morning in the early hours, two Russian Ropucha class landing ships 102 Kaliningrad from Baltic Fleet and 012 Olenegorskiy Gorniak from Northern Fleet have passed through Bosphorus as they were returning from their Syrian Express deployment.

Both ship made their southbound passage through Bosphorus on 23 March 2014.

The list of Russian warship movements in 2014:

Date Number Name Direction
02/01/14 016 Georgiy Pobedonosets Northbound
02/01/14 156 Yamal Northbound
18/01/14 016 Georgiy Pobedonosets Southbound
18/01/14 151 Azov Southbound
27/01/14 102 Kaliningrad Southbound
01/02/14 016 Georgiy Pobedonosets Northbound
01/02/14 151 Azov Northbound
07/02/14 810 Smetlivy Northbound
10/02/14 016 Georgiy Pobedonosets Southbound
10/02/14 151 Azov Southbound
20/02/14 150 Saratov Southbound
20/02/14 156 Yamal Southbound
26/02/14 102 Kaliningrad Northbound
26/02/14 127 Minsk Northbound
04/03/14 150 Saratov Northbound
04/03/14 156 Yamal Northbound
23/03/14 012 Olenegorskiy Gorniak Southbound
23/03/14 102 Kaliningrad Southbound
23/03/14 127 Minsk Southbound
03/04/14 012 Olenegorskiy Gorniak Northbound
03/04/14 102 Kaliningrad Southbound

I have archived the list of the Russian ship movements in 2013.

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