With the rhetorical indications coming first out of the Donald J. Trump presidential campaign, and now out of the Trump White House, one could be forgiven for thinking that the U.S. military might be pulling back its forces from the Russian “sphere of influence” in order to facilitate an improvement of ties between the two countries.
That thinking appears to be wrong. At least for now.
According to Navy Times reporting, the U.S. Navy, as well as U.S. ground forces, are maintaining a robust presence in the Russians’ backyard, and continuing on with planned NATO exercises aimed, in part, at repelling a notional Russian advance into western Europe.
Per a separate Navy Times article, an annual joint NATO maritime exercise — Sea Shield 2017 — hosted by the Romanian navy is currently underway in the Black Sea, in which the destroyer USS Porter (pictured) and a P-8A Poseidon sub-hunter aircraft are participating. The U.S. surface combatant is forward deployed to Rota, Spain, and entered the Black Sea on February 2, according to the Navy Times report.