Updated: USS Mount Whitney Is Making Port Visit In Constanta

The flagship of the US Navy 6th Fleet LCC-20 USS Mount Whitney is currently in Constanta, Romania.

Her first port of call was Burgas, Bulgaria. She spent here 5 days. Her next port of call was Batumi, Georgia where she arrived on 11 November. After conducting some joint exercises with Georgian naval forces, USS Mount Whitney has left Batumi on 13 November.

She will stay in Romania until 19 November according to a press release of the US Embassy in Bucharest:

The U.S. 6th Fleet flagship, USS Mount Whitney, home ported in Gaeta, Italy, will visit Constanta November 15 to November 19 on a routine port call. While in Constanta the ship’s crew will conduct joint training and information exchanges with Romanian counterparts and host a reception for distinguished guests.

The Mount Whitney serves as the Command Ship for Commander, SIXTH Fleet/Commander, Joint Command Lisbon/Commander, Striking Force NATO. Captain Craig Clapperton is the Commanding Officer and the ship has 12 officers, 150 enlisted personnel, and 150 Civilian Mariners from Military Sealift Command. The Mount Whitney participated in Operation Odyssey Dawn off the coast of Libya in 2011 and provided humanitarian relief to Georgia in 2008.

UPDATE: I have been corrected by U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa through Twitter that USS Mount Whitney arrived to Constanta one day later than scheduled due to inclement weather.

The Mysterious Boat On Bosphorus Identified

The handover ceremony of the Italian patrol boat to Romanian Border Guard. Photo: Romanian Embassy  in Italy

The handover ceremony of the Italian patrol boat to Romanian Border Guard. Photo: Romanian Embassy
in Italy

The boat from my previous post has been identified as a Bigliani class patrol boat.

I thank everyone who shared his/her information and made comments. Your help and support is as always very much appreciated.

This is the official announcement of the handover ceremony in late May 2013:

On 27 May 2013, in the presence of Inspector General of the Romanian Border Police, John BUDA Quaestor Police Chief, and Finance Guard Assistant Commandant-General Emilio Spaziale corps, at the Nautical School of Finance Guard to Gaeta held official handover ceremony of two class ship “Bigliani” Finance Guard fitted to the Romanian Border Police. At the event, the Romanian Embassy in Italy has participated Adina LOVIN prime collaborator.

Delivery and reception of the two vessels, which were divested Free Italian Finance Guard, was made ​​under the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Administration and Interior of Romania and the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Italy in collaboration informative to combat economic crime financial , signed in Bucharest on 14 December 2005.

Background elements

Finance Guard’s police force with military status under the Ministry of Economy and Finance of the Italian Republic, with competent bodies under the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Romania made an intensive cooperation, according to the Memorandum of Understanding signed on 14 December 2005

 

Mysterious Boat On Bosphorus

The myterious boat on Bosphorus.

The mysterious boat on Bosphorus. Photo: Victor M.S. Barreira, used with permission.

The above photo shows a boat that is moving in high speed on Bosphorus. The photo was taken by Mr. Victor M.S. Barreira, on 8 june 2013.

The boat in picture does not have the appearance of a pleasure craft for private use. It has as far as I can see both Turkish and Romanian flags and looks like a boat for government service but I have no further information about it expect the photo.

So I will welcome any additional information regarding this boat from my readers.

The BlackSeaFor Activation Continues

The Commander of the BlackSeaFor task force ships. Photo: Black Sea News. Used with permission

The Commander of the BlackSeaFor task force ships. Photo: Black Sea News. Used with permission

While the French, The Cypriots and the Turkish navies are busy in simulating searching and rescuing distressed people in the seas, the navies of the Black Sea countries are continuing the April 2013 activation the BlackSeaFor.

Interestingly the ships of the BlackSeaFor task force did simulated a search and rescue operation in high sea among themselves.

The excellent Black Sea News has a very good posting about the Black Sea For.

Also, during a training exercise on the transition from Varna to Constanta on the ships received a sudden opening of the command BLACKSEAFOR. At some point, every ship conditionally breaks down the steering, and crews conducted training on the transition from primary to spare and emergency management vehicles.

Not without one of the most important episodes of the exercise – the search and rescue of people at sea. With Turkish helicopter into the water was dumped mannequin man. At this time, the ships were in international squadron of fifteen miles away, at a distance of a mile of each other. The task of each crew were the first to discover and climb aboard the “victim.”

Here distinguished Ukrainian crew of sea trawler “Cherkasy”, commanded by Captain 3rd Rank Yuri Fedash.

By his order on the ship was enhanced visual observation of the water area above the water with the help of all shipboard optical devices. Upon arrival to the area of ​​Ukrainian sailors first discovered the “victim” on the surface of the sea, and successfully lifted on board. At the end of the first stage of the exercise of sea ships Black Sea Naval Cooperation Task Group BLACKSEAFOR stopped to rest in the Romanian port of Constanta.

Read the whole text here.

The April Activation Of The BlackSeaFor Has Started

The warships participating in the April 2013 activation of the BlackSeaFor have arrived in Varna, Bulgaria for the event kick off.

This is a video from Russian website tvzvezda.ru about the Russian participation, but many other ships are seen in the video too.

Click here to watch the video

The April 2013 Activation Of The BlackSeaFor

Turkish Milgem class corvette F-511 TCG Heybeliada. The flagship of the BlackSeaFor task force.

Turkish Milgem class corvette F-511 TCG Heybeliada. The flagship of the BlackSeaFor task force. This photo was taken during the August 2012 Activation of the BlackSeaFor.

The warships of Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey will take part in the April 2013 activation of the BlackSeaFor between 5 and 23 of April.

The warship of the BlackseaFor, under the Command of Turkish Navy, will spend 6 days on the sea and 13 days visiting Varna, Constanta and Sevastopol. During this activation search and rescue training, simulation training and navigation, tactical maneuvering and communication training will be conducted.

The Milgem class corvette F-511 TCG Heybeliada will be the flagship of the BlackSeaFor.

Following ships will take part in the April 2013 activation:

Number
Name
Nation
Type
F-511 TCG Heybeliada (Flagship) Turkey Corvette
142 RFS Novocherkassk Russia Frigate
13 BGS Reshitelni Bulgaria Corvette
265 ROS C.A. Horia Macellariu Romania Corvette
U-311 UPS Cherkasy Ukraine Minehunter
P-24 GCG Sokhumi Georgia Patrol Boat

The Russian large landing ship 142 RFS Novocherkassk.
This photo was taken during the August 2012 Activation of the BlackSeaFor.

The Bulgarian Corvette 13 BGS Reshitelni. This photo was taken during the April 2012 Activation of the BlackSeaFor.

The Bulgarian Corvette 13 BGS Reshitelni. This photo was taken during the April 2012 Activation of the BlackSeaFor.

The Romanian Tetal 2 class corvette 265 Contraamiral Horia Macellariu. This photo was taken during the August 2012 Activation of the BlackSeaFor.

The Romanian Tetal 2 class corvette 265 Contraamiral Horia Macellariu. This photo was taken during the August 2012 Activation of the BlackSeaFor.

This photo was taken during the April 2012 Activation of the BlackSeaFor.

The Ukrainian mine hunter U-311 UPS Cherkasy. This photo was taken during the April 2012 Activation of the BlackSeaFor.

This photo was taken during the April 2011 Activation of the BlackSeaFor.

The Georgian Patrol Boat P-24 GCG Sokhumi. This photo was taken during the April 2011 Activation of the BlackSeaFor.

Romanian Frigate Returns From Pirate Hunting While Ukraine Plans To Send One

The Romanian frigate F-221 ROS Regele Ferdinand will be returning home shortly. She left Romania in mid September and sailed the seas off the coast of Somalia as a part of EU’s anti piracy operation Atalanta.

The crew from Romanian frigate ROS Regele Ferdinand are proud to be sailing home to their base port of Constanta after completing Romania’s first counter piracy operation as part of the EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia, Operation Atalanta.

ROS Regele Ferdinand joined EU NAVFOR at the beginning of October and after sailing from Djibouti on 3 October, the warship commenced counter-piracy patrols in the internationally recommended transit corridor (IRTC) in the Gulf of Aden.  She also escorted a World Food Programme (WFP) ship along the Somali Coast to ensure much-needed food arrived safely in to Somalia to help feed her people.

During her time with EU NAVFOR, the warship also conducted seven ‘friendly approach’ missions. Friendly approaches are conducted to gather intelligence by speaking with fishing communities and trading vessels in the area of operations, and to help make masters and crews aware of Best Management Practices (BMP) for protection against pirates in the region.

In the meantime Ukraine is planing to send their frigate Getman Sagaidachny to Gulf Of Aden to take part in the anti-piracy operations in the region.

It is planned to deploy Ukrainian frigate Getman Sagaidachny to East African coast in order to fight sea piracy, reports Ukrainian Navy Press Center referring to the Navy Commander Yury Ilyin.

The commander stressed that Ukrainian Navy would resume its presence in certain zones of the Black and the Mediterranean seas. In particular, it is planned that frigate Getman Sagaidachny with a helicopter and a special-task unit aboard will be deployed near the Horn of Africa as a part of the international anti-piracy campaign, says the press-release.
Yury Ilyin said at the Navy Council session that the year of 2012 was a breakthrough in arms recovery. In the current year, financing of ship repair works was five times as large as in previous years.
Presently, we continue this work, but even now one can say with confidence that early in 2013 the fleet’s core will comprise 11 warships fully ready for combat use, emphasized the Navy commander. He added that Ukrainian Navy would also have 10 aircraft and 31 supply vessels.

It is not clear to which anti piracy task force the Ukraine frigate will join.

Romanian Frigate Regele Ferdinand Departed To Join Atalanta

F-221 Regele Ferdinand leaving Romania. Photo: Resboiu.ro

The Romanian frigate F-221 Regele Ferdinand left Constanta to join the EU anti piracy task force Atalanta.

According to Romanian website Resboiu.ro this is the first participation of Romanian ships in anti-piracy operations.

Last year the ship participated under NATO command in the Mediterranean Sea in Operation Active Endeavour and in  Operation Unified Protector against Libya.

Also for the first time a frigate to participate in an international mission with Puma helicopter aboard Naval craft.
The ship passed through the Turkish Straits on 14th September 2012.

The BlackSeaFor Task Force Sailed Into The The Black Sea.

Turkish Milgem class corvette F-511 TCG Heybeliada. The flagship of the BlackSeaFor task force.

The Bulgarian minesweeper 62 BGS Shkval

The Russian large landing ship 142 RFS Novocherkassk

The Romanian Tetal 2 class corvette 265 Contraamiral Horia Macellariu

The Ukrainian command ship U-510 Slavutich

Yesterday, after the command handover ceremony in Gölcük Naval Base, the 5 ships participating to this activation of the BlackSeaFor sailed away to their next port of call Trabzon, Istanbul. In order to this they had to pass through Bosphorus, where I was expecting them, as you can see from the photos above.

The August Activation Of The BlackSeaFor

F-511 TCG Heybeliada. The new flagship of the BlackSeaFor.

The August activation of BlackSeaFor will start today with a ceremony in Gölcük Naval Base, Izmit, Turkey.

The Russian Navy will hand over the command of the BlackSeaFor to Turkey. The activation of the BlackSeaFor will end on 24th August. During that time the task force will conduct several exercises and will visit Trabzon, Turkey and Novorossiysk, Russia.

Number
Name
Nation
Type
F-511 TCG Heybeliada (Flagship) Turkey Corvette
U-510 UPS Slavutich Ukraine Command Ship
141 RFS Novocherkassk Russia Large Landing Ship
F-265 Contraamiral Horia Macellariu Romania  Corvette
62 BGS Shkval Bulgaria Minesweeper

I was not able to identify the participating unit from Bulgaria and Romania. Any information regarding this ship these ships is welcome. Thanks to Mr. Mommsen from the excellent German maritime magazine Marineforum, I have all the information I needed about the participating ships.

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