By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Edward Guttierrez III, USS Vella Gulf Public Affairs
AEGEAN SEA (NNS) -- The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) conducted joint maritime operations with the Turkish navy fast attack craft TCG Dogan (P 340) and TCG Marti (P 341) after departing Kusadasi, Turkey on July 6.
Vella Gulf, Dogan and Marti conducted a surface exercise and a flag communication exercise during the engagements. U.S. Navy ships regularly hold similar events with partners and allies to foster relationships and strengthen interoperability.
"Vella Gulf was pleased to conduct another in a series of exercises with our NATO ally Turkey," said Capt. Robert Katz, Vella Gulf's commanding officer. "Our interactions with the Turkish Navy during our deployment have shown them to be highly proficient and professional; this exercise was no different. We look forward to working with them again during Exercise Breeze in the Black Sea."
The surface exercise required the participants to repel a simulated attack by small fast attack / fast inland attack craft. The second part of the exercise required the ships to communicate only via the use of signal flags.
Vella Gulf, homeported in Norfolk, Virginia, is conducting naval operations with partners and allies in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in order to advance security and stability in Europe.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.