BLACK SEA — The Legend-class national security cutter USCGC Hamilton (WMSL 753) conducted a series of maritime exercises with the Turkish navy, April 30, 2021, in the Black Sea.
Hamilton’s crew conducted a passing exercise and cross-platform helicopter operations with the Turkish navy’s Yavuz-class frigate TCG Turgutreis (F 241).
During flight operations, helicopters from both nations landed on each other’s vessel’s flight decks. An Agusta Bell AB 212 helicopter from Turgutreis landed aboard USCGC Hamilton (WMSL 753), while a U.S. Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter landed on Turgutreis. These maneuvers and operations enhanced both crews’ ability to communicate and conduct precise ship handling.
“It was a great honor to work alongside the Turkish navy today. They are professional mariners committed to ensuring safe and secure access to the sea,” said Capt. Timothy Cronin, commanding officer of USCGC Hamilton. “We look forward to more interactions like this to reinforce our partnership and shared interests in the maritime environment.”
The U.S. Coast Guard has been a consistent partner with European nations, strengthening and enforcing robust maritime governance. Hamilton is the first U.S. Coast Guard cutter to visit the Black Sea since 2008. The last U.S. Coast Guard cutter to visit the Black Sea, USCGC Dallas (WHEC 716), sailed to the Black Sea twice, in 2008 and 1995.
U.S. Ambassador to Turkey David Satterfield welcomed the exercise. “We are pleased that the U.S. Coast Guard has returned to the Black Sea. Cooperation between U.S. and Turkish forces improves our ability to work together to advance our shared security interests in the region. The United States and Turkey will continue to stand together as NATO Allies,” he said.
Hamilton is the fourth national security cutter and is the fifth named for the father of the U.S. Coast Guard – Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury and advocate for creating the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service.
The U.S. Coast Guard remains operational during COVID-19, following all COVID-19 safety precautions and regulations.
U.S. Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.