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.

Turkey And Georgia Conducted A Naval Exercise

On 13th September 2012, the Turkish and Georgian Coast Guards conducted an exercise in international waters off Batumi.

Georgian-Turkish joint naval exercises were held on September 13 in the territorial waters of Batumi. According to the Georgian Border Police, members of coast guards of the two countries during the exercises practiced boarding and search and rescue operations.

Along with the crew of Turkish boats TCSG-71 participated in the training boats Georgian Coast Guard, “General Mazniashvili” and “Iberia”.

Turkish Coast Guard cutter TCSG-71 entered the port of Poti on September 10, from September 11 went to Batumi. Visit to share experiences and planning, joint naval exercises held in the framework of the plan of bilateral cooperation between Georgia and Turkey in 2012.

Turkish border guards conducted a meeting with the Mayor of Poti, the command of the Department Coast Guard cutter and September 11 TCSG-71 arrived in Batumi, where he held teaching.

Coast Guard cutter Turkey TCSG-71 left the territorial waters of Georgia

USS Philippine Sea In Georgia

USS Philippine Sea in Georgia. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Gary Prill

The Ticonderoga class cruiser CG-58 USS Philippine Sea arrived in Batumi Georgia yesterday. The ship was in Istanbul between 11th and 14th October 2011.

The visit to Istanbul was more a liberty call than a working visit.

We are happy to have the chance to visit Istanbul,” said Philippine Sea’s Command Master Chief Scott Kircher. “This port provided us with an opportunity to meet with the Turkish people, and for the crew to experience the history and culture Turkey has to offer.”

The visit to Batumi will involve some joint exercises with the Georgian coast Guard.

Joint exercises of the U.S. cruiser and Georgian P-101 and P-102 coast guard patrol boats will be held on Tuesday,” the Georgian border police said in a statement.

After leaving Georgia, CG-58 USS Philippine Sea will sail to Ukraine and visit Sevastopol between 20th and 25th October.

 

USA Financially Assists Georgia To Build A New Naval Maintenance Facility

Ambassador John Bass and Minister of Internal Affairs Zaza Gogava. Photo: State Dept

According to well informed website navaltoday.com, USA is giving at least 4 million USD to Georgia for the construction of a new naval maintenance facility.

Ambassador Bass and Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Zaza Gogava broke ground on a U.S.-funded Georgia Coast Guard ship maintenance facility near Poti harbor. Georgia Coast Guard ship maintenance facility estimated at $4 million is part of a $10 million package of assistance provided by the U.S. Export Control and Border Security​ (EXBS) program to the Georgian Government.

Ambassador Bass spoke about the significance of the U.S. assistance to Georgia in enhancing its border security. The U.S. aid comes at a time when Georgia’s coastal cities are experiencing a steady increase in maritime trade and tourism requiring increased Coast Guard patrols. The U.S. Government through the EXBS program helps the Georgian Coast Guard sustain its ability to quickly and efficiently respond to incidents at sea for the benefit and safety of Georgia’s citizens and international visitors. The assistance demonstrates the commitment of the U.S. to Georgia to help it enhance its security.

This not the first facility USA is helping Georgia to build. In 2010 a coastal  radar station was opened  in  Anaklia, Georgia. This station was last of the three radar stations funded and builds by USA through, US Army Corps of Engineers.

USA presence in Georgia and its back up to this country will certainly continue to irritate Russia furthermore.

HS Rodos And The BlackSeaFor Fleet Met In Varna

HS Rodos in Varna. Photo: Fox2Magazine Blog

According to the Greek defence blog Fox2magazine the Greek landing ship HS Rodos arrived in Varna, Bulgaria on 25th August 2011. She will be open to public visit on 26th and 27th 2011.

Interestingly, the fleet of the BlackSeafor also arrived in Varna for the last visit of the August 2011 activation. The ships left Trabzon, Turkey on 23th August and on their way to Varna they have performed numerous underway drills, such as control over surface situation, sailing in formations, tactical maneuvering, signaling and communications, observation over civil ships and airplanes, interception and search of a “violator” vessel, organization of air defense.

The activation of the BlackSeaFor will end on 29th August. It is not clear when HS Rodos will return from the Black Sea.

August 2011 Activation of BlackSeaFor

The August activation of the BlackSeaFor fleet has started on 12th August 2011. On 13th August 2011 the command of the BlackSeafor will pass from Romania to Russia. For this occasion there will be a ceremony in Novoroski harbor where the BlackSeaFor fleet currently is.

 The August 2011 activation of BlackSeaFor will continue till 29 August 2011. During this time the ships will spend 14 days on ports visits on 6 days on cruise. Trabzon, Turkey, Novoroski, Russia and Varna, Bulgaria are the ports of call.

 During this activation period the Blackseafor ships will

  • test newly prepared concepts for  peace support operations, NBC defense, and the rules of engagement
  • conduct sea keeping and ship handling, tactical maneuvering and communications training
  • execute a search and rescue training
  • visit ports of The Black Sea to consolidate friendship between nations and navies.

Following ships are taking part:

Pennant
Ship
Type
Country
F-243 TCG Yıldırım Frigate Turkey
63 BGS Priboy Minesweeper Bulgaria
264 ROS E. Sebastian Corvette Romania
158 RFS Tsezar Kunikovl Landing Ship Russia
U-311 UPS Cherkasy Minesweeper Ukraine
Bosphorus Naval News

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.

The April Activation Of BlackSeaFor Has Ended

Today, on 26 April 2011, the April 2011 activation of the BlackSeaFor has ended.

The task force of following ships, left Russian port Novorossiysk after a 3 day visit and returned to their home ports.

Pennant
Ship
Type
Country
F-240 TCG Yavuz Frigate Turkey
F-42 BGS Verni Frigate Bulgaria
P-24 GCG Sokhumi Patrol Boat Georgia
F-111 ROS Marasesti Frigate Romania
156 RFS Yamal Landing Ship Russia
U-510 UPS Slavutich Command Ship Ukraine
Bosphorus Naval News

This activation, started on 5 April 2011, in Istanbul. As this is the 10th anniversary of the foundation of BlackSeaFor it was celebrated with free public concerts of naval bands and a naval parade in Istanbul.

The ships of the BlackSeaFor visited Sevastopol and Novorossiysk after leaving Istanbul and heading to the Black Sea. The BlackSeaFor ships took part in a joint exercise with Turkish Navy.

For photos of the naval parade on 8 April 2011 click here.

BlackSeafor Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary

Citizens of Istanbul saw another naval parade today. Naval parades along the Bosphorus are traditionally held either on 30. August to celebrate the Victory Day or on 29. October to celebrate the Republic Day with participation of Turkish warships.

What made todays parade so interesting? Well first of all the majority of the participants were foreign warships. I think that this might be the first parade of foreign warships made on Bosphorus since 1923. Second, today is not a Turkish holiday.

Well the parade was one of the many activities held in the last three days,  to celebrate the 10. anniversary of the foundation of Black Sea Naval Co-Operation Task Group – BlackSeaFor.

One of the activities was a public concert of military bands. There is a video showing public dancing to the musing of one of the bands. The place of this activity is located between the tomb of the famous Turkish admiral Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa and Naval Museum in Istanbul. Here is a second video.

The celebrations are not just all fun. Some serious discussions were made and speeches were held at the Armed Forces College. The Chief of General Staff, General Koşaner said that mechanism and initiatives that made security and stability in the Black Sea permanent had turned Black Sea into a sea that produced security for the vicinity and the globe.

The Black Sea continues to be a sea that is not facing any serious problems in regard to asymmetric threats, and that continues to be a secure sea, and is an example to the entire world. Contrary to conflicts in other geographies, I would like to express my belief that the Black Sea, which has geopolitical importance in the Eurasia where the majority of world history was written, will continue to be a sea of peace, friendship and security

Out of so many divers activities, I of course was focused on the naval parade.

The parade started with the Turkish frigate F-240 TCG Yavuz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next in line was the Romanian frigate F-111 ROM Marasesti. She is the flagship of this activation of the BlackSeaFor, as Romania is commanding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bulgarian frigate 42 BNS Verni was the third ship on the parade.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She was followed by Russian large landing ship 156 RFS Yamal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ukrainian command and control ship U-510 Slavutich was next.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last ship of the parade was the Georgian Coast Guard vessel P-24 Sukhumi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Romanian training ship Mircea was a part of the parade too. But she arrived 15 minutes later, than the rest of the warships.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turkish Coast Guard vessels provided security and escorted the BlackSeaFor ships.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was the second parade organised in Turkey less than a month. I will be covering the 10. anniversary of BlackSeaFor.

April Activation of BlackSeaFor

Today the April 2011 activation of BlackSeaFor will officially begin, with a press conference on board of Romanian warship Marasesti.

This year will be the 10th anniversary of the call-on naval task force BlackSeaFor.

For the purpose of enhancing peace and stability in the Black Sea area, by increasing regional co-operation, and improving good relationship, the idea of establishing a multinational naval on-call peace task force “The Black Sea Naval Co-Operation Task Group-BLACKSEAFOR” has been initiated by Turkey at the second Chiefs of the Black Sea Navies (CBSN) meeting which was held in Varna/Bulgaria in 1998.

“The Letter of Intent (LOI)”, which was signed on 28 June 2000 by the ambassadors of the Black Sea littoral states in Ankara was one of the major steps for the BlackSeaFor establishment as a document conveying political will, commitment and support of the black sea littoral states.

“The BlackSeaFor Establishment Agreement”, the most important milestone of this initiative, was signed by ministers and their authorized representatives at the signing ceremony, which was held on 2 April 2001, in Istanbul.

In last 10 years BlackSeaFor did achieved many things. In my opinion the most important success of BlackSeaFor was its ability to create a political will to organise and maintain a maritime task force by the countries of Black Sea for themselves. This year the Georgian warship will visit the Russian Novorossiysk despite the continuing animosity between the two countries.

Another benefit of BlackSeaFor is that it has created a harmonious platform for cooperation between NATO countries (Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania) and Non-NATO countries (Ukraine, Russia, Georgia) of the Black Sea nations. The lessons learned and expertise gathered during BlackSeaFor activation are very useful for the participating navies. I am sure that Ukraine Navy benefited from the experience of BlackSeaFor when Ukrainian warship was sent to join the NATO operation Active Endeavor. I am also sure that both NATO and Russian warships are benefiting from BlackSeaFor when they are cooperating in Gulf of Aden against piracy.

This years’ April activation will start on 5. April and will end on 26. April. During this time the participating ships will visit Istanbul, Sevastopol and Novorossiysk.  The task force will spend 15 days in harbors and 7 days on under way.

During this activation period the Blackseafor ships will

  • test newly prepared concepts for  peace support operations, NBC defense, and the rules of engagement
  • conduct sea keeping and ship handling, tactical maneuvering and communications trainings
  • execute a search and rescue training
  • conduct air defence training with participation of Turkish Air Force
  • visit ports of The Black Sea to consolidate friendship between nations and navies.

Following ships are taking part:

Pennant
Ship
Type
Country
F-240 TCG Yavuz Frigate Turkey
F-42 BGS Verni Frigate Bulgaria
P-24 GCG Sokhumi Patrol Boat Georgia
F-111 ROS Marasesti Frigate Romania
156 RFS Yamal Landing Ship Russia
U-510 UPS Slavutich Command Ship Ukraine
Bosphorus Naval News

The weather is cloudy and there is not much light but I will try to take photos of the visiting warships and share here.

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