USS Oak Hill Arrives in Batumi (March 17)
The U.S. 6th Fleet USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) will arrive in Batumi for a port visit March 17 as part of a regularly scheduled deployment. This will be the ship’s first visit to Georgia. While in the Black Sea, the Oak Hill will conduct port visits and bilateral exercises with U.S. allies and partner navies. The ship’s operations are meant to enhance maritime security and stability, readiness, and naval capabilities among NATO allies and partners. Strengthening alliances during the port visit to Batumi demonstrates the shared commitment between the United States and Georgia to promote safety and stability within the region, while seeking unique opportunities to enhance our interoperability with NATO allies and partners in the Black Sea.
In addition to a reception for local officials, tours of the ship, and a friendly soccer and basketball match between U.S. sailors and the Georgian Coast Guard, several joint training exercises will take place. USS Oak Hill’s port visit also provides American sailors an opportunity to explore local historical sites and build lasting partnerships with their Georgian naval counterparts.
Oak Hill entered the Black Sea to demonstrate the U.S. commitment to the collective defense of our NATO allies and partners. This naval operation is in support of our NATO allies in Eastern Europe and falls under Operation Atlantic Resolve. The U.S. Navy routinely operates in the Black Sea consistent with the Montreux Convention and international law. U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa. The USS “OAK HILL” is commanded by Commander Phillip Knight, United States Navy, and has a complement of 22 officers and 400 enlisted personnel.