Early Thursday morning, the USS Truxtun, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, was deployed from Greece towards the Black Sea.
The move comes as part of supposedly scheduled and routine drill procedures with the Romanian and Bulgarian naval forces in the Black Sea. Once the USS Truxtun reaches its destination, it will work with the other two navies in order to conduct joint maneuvers and to learn how to land aircraft on the carriers.
The destroyer is part of the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group, which was stationed originally in the Mediterranean and has plans to move its base of operations to the Middle East soon.
The US Navy and federal government have made several statements assuring the world that this move has nothing to do with the mounting tensions in Crimea and Ukraine lately, with Navy spokesman Lt. Shawn Eklund stating, “Truxtun’s operations in the Black Sea were scheduled well in advance of her departure from the U.S.”
However, the move does come at a time when the United States military has recommitted itself to defending democracy in Central and Eastern Europe; Not only has the US moved one of its destroyers closer in proximity to the situation unfolding in the Crimea, but the United States military has also committed six F-15s to Lithuania and 12 F-16s to Poland, along with 300 men: "We are well beyond the days when borders can be redrawn over the heads of democratic leaders," stated President Obama from the White House Thursday. Obama would go on to add that the US is seeking "to reaffirm our commitment to the security and democracy of our allies in Eastern Europe."
Currently, the USS Truxtun is the only naval ship present in the Black Sea besides the USS Taylor, a guided-missile frigate which ran aground in Turkey earlier this year.
Image via Wikimedia Commons