U.S. destroyer Cook, NATO ships enter Black Sea ahead of exercise

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20 February 2019

The USS Donald Cook and ships from NATO's Standing Mine Countermeasures Group 2 entered the Black Sea on Tuesday, with their movements tracked by Russian vessels, ONA reports citing CNN.

The U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer departed Batumi, Georgia, where it conducted an exercise with two of the nation's coast guard ships, according to the U.S. Navy.

"Each visit here affords us the unique opportunity to work with our regional maritime partners," Cmdr. Matthew Powel, commanding officer of Donald Cook. "The crew and I look forward to experiencing the rich history and culture in this region."

The Arleigh Burke-class ship, which is forward-deployed in Rota, Spain, was last in the Black Sea on Jan. 28.

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THE OPERATION IS BEING PERFORMED