The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) conducted a division tactics exercise with the Turkish navy fast attack craft TCG Tuzla (P 1200) in the Black Sea on Aug. 8.

Vella Gulf and Tuzla conducted tactical maneuvering during the exercise. U.S. Navy ships regularly hold similar events with allies and partners to foster relationships and strengthen interoperability.

“Once again, Vella Gulf was pleased to participate in an at-sea training exercise with our NATO ally Turkey,” said Capt. Robert Katz, Vella Gulf’s Commanding Officer. “Our continuing interactions with the Turkish Navy during this deployment have increased cooperation and strengthened interoperability through regular combined training events.”

The surface exercise required Vella Gulf to be a guide ship and give tactical maneuvering commands to Tuzla. The ships then executed maneuvers simultaneously.

Vella Gulf, homeported in Norfolk, Va., 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.