USS Mount Whitney Visits Varna

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet flagship USS Mount Whitney (LCC/JCC 20) arrived in Varna, Bulgaria Nov. 8 to officially kick off the multinational Black Sea Partnership Cruise (BSPC), set to commence Nov. 10.

Representatives from Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Ukraine and the United States will come together to participate in the six-day, at-sea, interactive trainer, while Mount Whitney serves as the BSPC underway training platform.

The 2nd annual BSPC is an event intended to strengthen ongoing partnerships and increase interoperability with Black Sea nations by presenting practical, hands-on workshops and classes designed to facilitate maritime safety and security. The at-sea period will include workshops for helicopter control operations, junior officer and noncommissioned officer development, interoperability discussions and an oil spill containment scenario.

Additional topics to be covered during the cruise are humanitarian assistance; maritime domain awareness; navigation; rules of engagement; law of the sea; piracy; counter narcotics; visit, board, search and seizure; and customs enforcement.

Varna is the third Black Sea engagement in one week for the Mount Whitney, following stops in Constanta, Romania and Sevastopol, Ukraine.

Mount Whitney, homeported in Gaeta, Italy, is on a regularly scheduled deployment to the Black Sea. U.S. 6th Fleet assets routinely operate in the Black Sea to further develop partnerships, enhance interoperability and promote regional maritime safety and security.

(Source: Navy News Service)

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