>Turkish Ports For US 6th Fleet?

>US Navy is looking for a friendly port in Mediterranean basin to forward-deploy the surface ships that will be assigned for anti ballistic missile defence.

Navy officials are considering the new home ports to keep more ballistic-missile defense ships closer to waters from which they can protect Europe from missiles. Today, BMD ships must sail from the U.S., adding weeks of transit before they can get on station.

US Navy is currently in talks with Spain and Italy. Rota in Spain and Gaeta in Italy have been homeports for US warships since early cold war years. According to Navy Times, the ports at both Rota and Gaeta probably could accommodate a few cruiser- or destroyer-sized warships, their crews and their families; today, they’re both common stops for warships on their way to and from the Persian Gulf. But it’s an open question whether their governments would agree to permanently host more American military personnel.

Even if the Spanish and Italian governments were wary about a new long-term U.S. Navy presence, other European governments would probably fight for the economic boost that American crews would bring. Georgia and Ukraine, for example, might pitch their ports on the Black Sea, eager for support from the U.S. against their Russian neighbor, but the State Department would likely nix that idea for fear of provoking Russia.

Well home porting an American warship in the Black Sea is impossible. Not because for the fear of provoking Russia but for the Montreux Convention. The convention clearly states that the duration of stay of a warship belonging to a non Black Sea nation in the Black sea cannot be longer than 21 days. And USA stated that they will abide the Convention.

Aksaz Naval Base and Mersin in Turkey could be interesting locations for USN. Aksaz is the biggest naval base of Turkish Navy in Mediterranean. It has a good naval infrastructure with some repair and maintenance facilities. Mersin further east, is a busy commercial port, but the city is close to the Incirlik air base of USAF. Thus logistics would be not much a problem.

But I do not expect any US warship to be home ported in Turkey as the political climate is not suitable yet. The politics of the previous US government alienated Turkey and the recent administration has not done enough to reverse the trend. The neocons in USA feel angry against Turkey as they think Turkey did not gave enough support for their war against global terrorism. Therefore it would be very difficult for both governments to sell the idea of permanent existence of US warships in Turkish ports to their nations.

One Response to >Turkish Ports For US 6th Fleet?

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