As tensions continue to rise in the Black Sea between Russia and Ukraine, the US must demonstrate its commitment to protecting international waters and freedom of navigation for all nations. The recent visit by the USS Nitze to Turkey’s Golcuk Naval Base serves as a reminder of American strength and support. 

Background on US Warship USS Nitze and its Visit to the Region

The Arleigh-Burke-class guided missile destroyer, USS Nitze (DDG 94), was commissioned in 2009 and is part of Destroyer Squadron 26, currently based in Yokosuka, Japan. Previously, USS Nitze was sent on a routine deployment to conduct maritime security operations in the Mediterranean Sea and Arabian Gulf. However, on May 16, 2021, it made a port call in Istanbul before heading toward Golcuk Naval Base. At Golcuk Naval Base, it hosted several US diplomats, including Ambassador John Bass, who also visited several other US warships in different parts of Turkey during his trip. After spending time at Golcuk Naval Base, USS Nitze departed from there on May 24, 2021, en route back to her Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) homeport in Yokosuka, Japan, via Suez Canal.

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are part of the United States Navy’s Fleet Response Plan and are typically deployed for six months in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR). The AOR includes “the Western Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Arabian Gulf, and Red Sea regions,” according to the US Navy’s website. Additionally, these warships operate with NATO forces in the Mediterranean Sea and other areas requiring “maritime security operations.”

The ships of this class are equipped with an Aegis Combat System and can perform multiple roles, including surface warfare, anti-aircraft warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and electronic warfare. Furthermore, they have advanced capabilities allowing them to receive data from external sources such as satellites or aircraft and display it on large screens within their Combat Information Centers (CIC). This capability allows them to act quickly when a threat is detected and maintain situational awareness even when out of contact with external assets. These destroyers also carry Tomahawk missiles which can be used offensively or defensively, depending on the situation.

USS Nitze
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 94), foreground, maneuvers alongside aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) while transiting the Atlantic Ocean. (Source:

In addition to its impressive arsenal of weapons systems and advanced technology, USS Nitze also features several amenities designed to make life easier for its crew members while out at sea. These include comfortable quarters for up to 300 personnel and recreation facilities such as a gymnasium complete with treadmills and elliptical machines. It also has an advanced galley that can feed up to 1,000 people with quality meals cooked by trained chefs. Such amenities allow crew members to relax during long deployments away from homeport without sacrificing comfort or morale.

Overall, USS Nitze is an impressive example of the US military might capable of completing any mission tasked by its commanders while still providing all necessary comforts for its crew members during prolonged deployments away from homeport. In addition, its recent visit to Turkey highlights the importance placed by US Navy in maintaining strong alliances through diplomatic channels while stationing warships abroad, especially at times when regional tensions are high.

Why is The USS Nitze’s Visit to the Black Sea Region Impactful? 

The recent arrival of the USS Nitze to the Black Sea region holds considerable significance for both Turkey and the United States. This visit is an example of diplomatic strength between both allies by affirming the close strategic partnership between the two countries and safeguarding freedom of navigation in a region prone to increased tension.

From a military standpoint, a forward-deployed American vessel shows Turkey and its bordering nations that the United States Navy is prepared for whatever may arise in this volatile area. If we’re going to take a look at Rear Admiral James Macmanamon’s perspective on international alliances, this “message” has a more significant impact on the US Navy’s leadership in these most critical of times.