USS Vella Gulf Conducts Exercise with Turkish Navy

140808-N-ZE250 118  BLACK SEA, (Aug. 8, 2014) Turkish Navy vessel TCG Tuzla (P1200) steams past Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) after completing maneuvering exercises in the Black Sea. Vella Gulf, homeported in Norfolk, Va., is conducting naval operations with allies in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in order to advance security and stability in Europe. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Weston Jones/Released)

Turkish Navy vessel P-1200 TCG Tuzla steams past Ticonderoga class cruiser CG-72 USS Vella Gulf , after completing maneuvering exercises in the Black Sea. Photo: U.S. Navy by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Weston Jones

According to the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet web site, the Ticonderoga class cruiser USS Vella Gulf conducted a division tactics exercise with the Turkish navy fast attack craft TCG Tuzla in the Black Sea on 8 August 2014.

Vella Gulf and Tuzla conducted tactical maneuvering during the exercise. U.S. Navy ships regularly hold similar events with allies and partners to foster relationships and strengthen interoperability.

“Once again, Vella Gulf was pleased to participate in an at-sea training exercise with our NATO ally Turkey,” said Capt. Robert Katz, Vella Gulf’s Commanding Officer. “Our continuing interactions with the Turkish Navy during this deployment have increased cooperation and strengthened interoperability through regular combined training events.”

Well I must make a correction to the above statement.

TCG Tuzla is not classified as an fast attack craft by Turkish Navy. She is a patrol craft, a gun boat with a sonar and ASW mortar. Turkish Navy classifies vessels with anti-ship missiles as fast attack craft such as Doğan, Yıldız, Kılıç or Kartal class boats.

I have found the matching of the ships a little peculiar. USS Vella Gulf is one of the largest combatants in US Navy inventory with the exception of the carriers while TCG Tuzla is one of the smallest combatants in Turkish Navy inventory. Was this by design or by coincidence?

Someone Shot At This

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On 5 August 2014, P-305 TCG Ağ-5 was seen passing through Bosphorus…

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… while towing a target barge…

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…which had a few holes in it.

I have witnessed the northbound passage of the veteran boom defence ship TCG Ağ-5 through Bosphorus. In the age of long ranged ammunition the boom defence vessels are more or less useless for their original purpose. Thus TCG Ağ-5 is mainly used as a tug or buoy tender.

Yesterday she was towing a target barge with a multiple hits on it. I have no idea who shoot at it and where but someone had at least 3 hits on it.

Update On Breeze 2014 Naval Exercise

With the exception of Bulgarian participants I have more or less the complete list of the participants to this exercise:

Number Name Type Country
P-266 HS Machitis Patrol Craft Greece
F-582 ITS Aviere Frigate Italy
M-5561 ITS Rimini Mine Hunter Italy
F-222 ROS Regina Maria Frigate Romania
M-30 Alexandru Axente Mine Sweeper Romania
M-270 TCG Akçay Mine Hunter Turkey
P-1200 TCG Tuzla Patrol Craft Turkey
P-332 TCG Mızrak Fast Attack Craft Turkey
S-352 TCG Dolunay Submarine Turkey
M-37 HSM Chiddingfold Mine Hunter UK
CG-72 USS Vella Gulf Cruiser USA

In addition to the above mentioned naval units one P-3 Orion from US Navy and one CN-235 from Turkish Navy are also taking part in the exercise.

Breeze 2014 Naval Exercise

The Bulgarian Navy is hosting a nine day long naval exercise Breeze 2014.

The military exercise is to be held in the Western section of the Black Sea and is aimed at improving the tactical compatibility and collaboration among naval forces of the alliance’s member states.

Bulgaria’s port city of Burgas has peen picked to host the staff of the drills.

While Breeze 2014 is taking place, the staff of the Bulgarian Naval Forces will be certified for conformity of the level of planning independent operations to NATO criteria, according to the website pan.bg, specialized in defense issues.

The exercise, which ends July 13, starts amid stepped-up presence of alliance forces in the Black Sea over the Ukraine crisis and Russia’s decision to incorporate the Crimean peninsula in March this year. 

According to the information I have the following ships are taking part in the exercise:

 Number Name Type Country
F-582 ITS Aviere Frigate Italy
5561 ITS Rimini Mine Hunter Italy
M-37 HSM Chiddingfold Mine Hunter UK
M-270 TCG Akçay Mine Hunter Turkey
P-266 HS Machitis Patrol Craft Greece
S-352 TCG Dolunay Submarine Turkey
P-332 TCG Mızrak Fast Attack Craft Turkey
P-1200 TCG Tuzla Patrol Craft Turkey

As always I will appreciate any additional information about the participants.

Here is a nice video showing the arrival of the NATO SNMCMG-2 ships to Burgas.

Turkish Navy Sinks An Old Landing Ship During Exercise

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One of the two torpedoes fired at ex Serdar finds its target.

The decommissioned Terrebonne Parish Class tank landing ship Serdar left us with a big bang.

On 30 May 2014 she was sunk as a target during the final day of the Beyaz Fırtına 2014 naval exercise.

She did not down easily. She was hit by a FIM-92 Stinger, two AGM-114 Hellfire and one RIM-7 Sea Sparrow missiles. According to media report one AGM-119 Penguin missiles is also fired at ex- Serdar but I was not able to verify this visually. On 3 June 2014 Turkish Navy published some photos from the firing exercise one photo clearly show the firing of the Penguin missile.

One Turkish Seahawk helicopter is firing a AGM-114 Penguin missile to LST Serdar.

One Turkish Seahawk helicopter is firing a AGM-119 Penguin missile to LST Serdar.

In addition to these missiles two undisclosed torpedoes were fired from TCG Saldıray and TCG Batıray.

The old landing ship was not the only target. Two RIM-162 ESSM missiles and one RIM-116 RAM missile were fired against drones launched from F-246 TCG Salihreis.

This is the first ESSM firing from Turkish MEKO 200 Track II B class ships.

This is the first ESSM firing from Turkish MEKO 200 Track II B class ships.

8 frigates, 3 corvettes, 18 fast attack craft 6 submarines 3 mine hunters and 31 other vessels took part in the exercise.

 

Here is a fine video from the final day of the exercise:

Beyaz Fırtına Naval Exercise Has Started

The naval exercise Beyaz Fırtına 2014 has kicked off today.

The exercise area incorporates Marmara Sea, Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean and will end on 1 July 2014.

During these 13 days following units will take part in the exercise:

From Turkish Navy:

  • 53 warships of various types and classes
  • 4 maritime patrol planes
  • 13 ASW helicopters

From Turkish Air Force:

  • 8 combat airplanes
  • 1 target towing plane

From Turkish Coast Guard:

  • 17 vessels of various types and classes
  • 4  helicopters

From Turkish National Intelligence Organisation:

  • 1 intelligence aircraft

According to Turkish Navy website live missile and torpedo firings will be executed against target ships.

Video Of Missile Tests From Overberg Test Range

Turkish Navy has published a video from the test firings on Overberg Test Range.

You can watch the RAM firing of TCG Heybeliada, Sea Sparrow firing of TCG Oruçreis, ESSM and SM-1 firings of TCG Gediz.

 

This is the link to the video:

http://www.dzkk.tsk.tr/denizweb/turkce/guncel/guncel_video.php?id=374

Turkish Navy Fires Missiles In Overberg Test Range

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F-511 TCG Heybelida firing a RIM-116 RAM surface to air missile. Photo: Official Turkish Navy photo.

According to Turkish Navy website the ships of the Barbaros Task Force demonstrated live missile firings in Delen Overberg Test Range in South Africa.

The frigate F-245 TCG Salihreis and the corvette F-511 TCG Heybeliada were at the range on 13 May 2014. TCG Oruçreis conducted 5 Sea Sparrow firings while TCG Heybeliada shot one RAM missile.

On 14 May 2014 TCG Gediz was on the range. She fired one SM-1 and one ESSM missile.

(2)

F-245 TCG Oruçreis firing one RIM-7 Sea Sparrow surface to air missile. Photo: Official Turkish Navy photo.

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F-245 TCG Oruçreis firing another RIM-7 Sea Sparrow surface to air missile. Photo: Official Turkish Navy photo.

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F-495 TCG Gediz firing a RIM-162 ESSM surface to air missile. Photo: Official Turkish Navy photo.

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Another shot of the RIM-162 ESSM surface to air missile. Photo: Official Turkish Navy photo.

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TCG Gediz firing a SM-1 Standart surface to air missile. Photo: Official Turkish Navy photo.

Deniz Aslanı Search And Rescue Exercise

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SG-702 TCSG Güven and SG-703 TCSG Umut in İzmir, before the start of the exercise. Photo: Zeynep Yaylalı

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SG-702 TCSG Güven and SG-703 TCSG Umut in İzmir, before the start of the exercise. Photo: Zeynep Yaylalı

Last week between 6 and 9 May 2014, Turkish Armed forces conducted the Deniz Aslanı Search And Rescue exercise.

The first phase of the exercise the rescuers responded to a simulated ship sinking with 92 passengers and 12 crew on board. In the send phase of the exercise survivors of a plane crash were located and rescued by the participating units.

The Gabya class frigate F-496 TCG Gökova from Turkish Navy, the Dost class OPV’s TCSG Umut and TCSG Güven plus 6 patrol boats from Turkish Coast Guard and numerous air units took part in the exercise.

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-242 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.

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