Russian Reactions To USS Monterey

Dr. Dmitry Gorenburg of Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies has written his thoughts about the Russian reactions to the Black Sea trip of CG-61 USS Monterey. He has also written an assessment for the BlackSeaFor for this blog.

As I see it, the reason for the controversy is because the Russian side believes that they were promised that the U.S. would not send Aegis cruisers to the Black Sea unless there was some kind of imminent threat. Obviously that wasn’t the case here, so they think this is another case of promises broken, something they’re very sensitive about because of their perceptions of how NATO enlargement went down.

The Monterey has been officially designated as part of phase one of the European missile defense shield. It is normally stationed in the Mediterranean as a missile defense ship. So it wasn’t irrational for Russia to connect its arrival in the Black Sea with missile defense issues.

I have enjoyed reading this comments about the row between Russia and USA. Click here to read the whole text.

USS Monterey in Bathumi

On Monday, 20 June 2011, the Ticonderoga class US Navy cruiser CG-61 USS Monterey will visit the Georgian port Batumi.

The US cruisers arrival in Georgia will come less than two weeks after another U.S.  cruiser, USS Anzio, visited the port of Batumi on June 9-12 for a joint damage control exercises with the Georgian coast guard.

At the moment the USS Monterey  in Odessa Ukraine to take part in multinational military exercises, Sea Breeze 2011, co-hosted by Ukraine and the U.S. Today is the last day of this exercise.

Azerbaijan, Algeria, Belgium, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Macedonia, Moldova, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, the UK and the U.S. took part in the exercises held from June 6 to June 18. Organizers said the training agenda included counter-piracy operations; non-combatant evacuation operations, as well as board, search and seizure training.

CG-68 USS Anzio left Black Sea by passing through Turkish Straits on 14 June 2010.

The other US Navy warship in the Black Sea is the salvage ship T-ARS 51 USS Grasp. She is in Odessa, Ukraine to take part in the naval exercise Sea Breeze 2011.

Usually the Russians are sensitive about US naval visits to Georgia since their conflict in 2008. Last week, the presence of the USS Monterey caused a salvo from Russia after the talks between Russia and NATO about the missile shield failed. Let’s wait and see if the visit of this warship in Georgia will cause a second salvo of protest from Russia.

Port Visits

CG-61 USS Monterey in Kuşadası.

The Ticonderoga class cruiser of US Navy, CG-61 USS Monterey arrived in Kuşadası, Aydın for a 3 day port visit.

USS Monterey is one of the BMD able ships of the US navy. Her cruise to the Black Sea two months ago,  a short time after Russia and NATO have failed to agree on forms of cooperation on the missile shield in Europe, caused protests from Russia.

USS Monterey will leave Kuşadası on 23rd August Monday.Kuşadası is one of the popular R&R destinations of US Navy. Another BMD capable US Navy cruiser USS Vella Gulf made a port visit in Kuşadası last year.

L-177 HS Rodos in Odessa.

On a separate occasion, the Greek tank landing ship L-177 HS Rodos is in Odessa, Ukraine for a 4 day port visit.  The Jason class ship can carry 300 troops and 4 LCVP’s.

According to the Ukrainian Mod website the Greek sailors at Odessa will conduct a number of different activities aimed at developing and maintaining close relations between the two countries.

The the crew of the Greek ship will, laying flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Sailor, and attend a series of protocol meetings with leaders of regional and city authorities and officials of the military administration of the local garrison.

8 Days After She Has Entered Black Sea, Russia Objects To US Navy Cruiser

 According to news reports, the Russians protested the arrival of US Navy cruiser CG-61 USS Monterey in Ukraine on 12 June 2011, saying the ship was a treat to the Russian national security.

The foreign ministry noted it understood that the stationing of the Monterey in European waters was part of the U.S. missile defense shield plan but added it did not see why the warship had to be so close to its borders.

The Russian foreign ministry said Monterey’s arrival in the Black Sea demonstrated blatant disregard for Moscow’s concerns.

“We have a number of questions regarding the arrival in the Black Sea of the U.S. Navy cruiser Monterey equipped with the Aegis anti-missile system to participate in the Ukrainian-U.S. Sea Breeze 2011 exercises,” the Russian foreign ministry said.

“The Russian side has repeatedly stressed that we will not let pass unnoticed the appearance of elements of U.S. strategic infrastructure in the immediate proximity to our borders and will see such steps as a threat to our security,” it said in a statement.

So the Russian Foreign Ministry knew that USS Monterey was in European waters. It is interesting to note that the ship passed through Turkish Straits on 4 June. She was in Black Sea for more than a week before the Russians submitted their protest. If the Russians have read this humble blog they would be more updated what is going on in the region.  Russian information agencies used to work better.

Two US Navy Cruisers And One Salvage Ship Are In Black Sea

USS Monterey passing under the Bosphorus Bridge

Two US Navy cruisers CG-61 USS Monterey and CG-68 USS Anzio are in Black Sea currently.

USS Anzio is on the east end of the Black Sea. She will dock in Georgian harbor Batumi tomorrow and will stay there till 12 June 2011. The U.S. warship and the Georgian Coast Guard will engage in damage control exercises as well as engine and electronics maintenance work, according to Georgian news portal civil.ge.

The other cruiser, USS Monterey is in Constanta, Romania will stay till 9 June there. According to the US Embassy in Bucharest, the ship will donate eight pallets of school supplies, sports equipment and medical items will be distributed to orphanages, kindergartens and clinics in Constanta and Tulcea counties.

The eight pallets, weighing almost two tons, contain soccer balls and nets, health kits, hospital linens and school bags.  In the school bags are notebooks, pens, erasers, rulers, pencil sharpeners, pencils, crayons and scissors.

Those cruisers are not the only US Navy ships in the Black Sea. The salvage ship T-ARS 51 USS Grasp is in Odesa, Ukraine to take part in the naval exercise Sea Breeze 2011. She will stay in Odesa till 16 June 2011.

 

This is a rare concentration of US Navy warships in the region, since the Russo – Georgian war in 2008.

>Turkey Joins Counterpiracy Mission in the Gulf of Aden

>The Turkish frigate TCG Giresun (F-491) joinedCombined Task Force (CTF) 151 Feb. 26 and began conducting counterpiracy operations in the Gulf of Aden alongside other coalition naval forces.

“Bringing another professional navy into the fold is going to make it even more difficult for the pirates to operate out here,” said Rear Adm. Terence McKnight, commander, CTF 151. “Giresun and her crew will addeven more experience and manpower to a very robust counterpiracy mission. We’re making life very difficult for those looking to disrupt the free flow of commerce in the area.”

Commanded by Capt. Cenk Dalkanat, Giresun joins CTF 151’s flagship USS Monterey (CG 61), the Danish flexible support ship HDMS Absalon (L 16), and other ships from the U.S. and U.K., which have conducted operations as part of the task force.

The full text of this news can be read here.

For all CTF-151 related info click here: http://www.navy.mil/local/CTF-151/

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