The Navy destroyer Truxtun has departed Souda Bay, Greece, and is headed to the Black Sea. (Paul Farley/Navy)
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The Navy is dispatching a destroyer to the Black Sea at a moment of mounting tensions over Ukraine, the service said Thursday.
The Naples, Italy-based 6th Fleet announced the destroyer Truxtun has departed Souda Bay, Greece, and is headed to the Black Sea. The announcement said the move was part of a previously scheduled series of exercises with the Bulgarian and Romanian Navy.
“The U.S. Navy is committed to helping enhance the security and stability of all European and African Nations, and our forward-presence, activities and engagements in this region are routine,” the release said.
The Black Sea and the status of the Ukraine-based Russian Black Sea Fleet is one of the central issues in the ongoing political crisis and comes a day after the Department of Defense announced it was moving six F-15 fighters and one KC-135 Stratotanker to Lithuania for NATO Baltic patrols.
Truxtun is part of the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group, currently deployed in the Sixth Fleet Area of Responsibility.
The Truxtun was commissioned in 2009 and is manned by about 300 sailors. The ship is fresh off of its Hollywood moment, playing the destroyer Bainbridge in the Tom Hanks movie Captain Phillips, which earned several Oscar nominations this year.