The U.S. Coast Guard national security cutter USCGC Hamilton on April 27 transited the Bosporus and entered the Black Sea to bolster the NATO presence amidst elevated tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
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, sailed to the region twice, once in 2008 and once in 1995.
Turkish Coast Guard escorted the USCGC Hamilton during its passage from the Bosphorus.
Ve ABD savaş gemisi sessizce Karadeniz’in sıcak sularına geçer... pic.twitter.com/GhOSEJEO7j— cüneyt özdemir (@cuneytozdemir) April 27, 2021
The U.S. Navy described the USCGC Hamilton's deployment to the Sixth Fleet area of responsibility as a routine deployment to work alongside allies, build maritime awareness and share best practices with partner nation navies and coast guards.
The Sixth Fleet is headquartered in Naples, Italy, and routinely conducts operations in the Black Sea, the release noted.
Earlier this week the USCGC Hamilton completed search and rescue exercises with Italy's Coast Guard near Naples.
The vessel crossed the Atlantic at the beginning of the month and conducted a mid-month logistics visit to Rota, Spain.
The USS Monterey also participated in a NATO exercise in the Black Sea at the end of March, during which Russia deployed six submarines.
Shortly after the USCGC Hamilton's passage, Russia released a statement, saying that it's monitoring the cutter's actions.
"The Black Sea forces and means have begun monitoring the actions of USCGC Hamilton, which entered the Black Sea on April 27," the Russian Defense Ministry said on April 27.
(Footage recorded by journalist Cüneyt Özdemir)