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Thursday, March 05, 2015

NATO maritime group enters Black Sea as Ukraine crisis continues

Uss Vicksburg (CG 69)International warships assigned to a U.S.-led NATO maritime group entered the Black Sea on Wednesday to train with alliance members in the region.

The arrival of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 continues a string of visits to the region by the U.S. and its allies over the past year — a response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea last year and its support of separatists in eastern Ukraine. The American destroyer USS Cole left the Black Sea in late February.

Six ships make up the current group,one of two immediate-reaction forces under the alliance’s maritime arm. The group is commanded by U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Brad Williamson, who is embarked with his staff on the guided-missile cruiser USS Vicksburg.

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