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U.S. Warships, Marines Enter Black Sea

Voice of Russia
February 3, 2014

US Navy tightens its presence at Black Sea ahead of Olympics

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USS Mount Whitney

USS-Ramage-Departs-Naval-Station-Norfolk
USS Ramage

The guided missile frigate USS Ramage (DDG-61) and the command ship USS Mt. Whitney with 600 marines deployed aboard have come to the Black Sea, a military diplomat told the Russian news agency on Monday. “The frigate USS Ramage and the flag ship of the US Sixth Fleet, the USS Mt. Whitney, have arrived in the Black Sea. They have passed through the Dardanelles and Bosporus Straits lately with Turkish consent. More than 600 U. marines are stationed aboard the ships,” the source said.

Judging by the vector of their movement, one may presume the US warships are headed towards the Ukrainian Black Sea coast.

A visit of the US warships to the Russian territorial waters is not on the agenda as of yet, the source said.

The USS Mt. Whitney, a Blue Ridge class command ship, is the flag ship of the US Sixth Fleet. It has a displacement of 18,400 tonnes, a length of 189 meters and a speed of 23 knots. The ship carries defensive artillery weaponry and a helicopter.

The USS Ramage (DDG-61) is a guided missile frigate commissioned on July 22, 1995. It has a displacement of 8,775 tonnes and a speed of 32 knots. It carries tactical strike weapons, Tomahawk cruise missiles, guided air defense missiles, artillery, anti-sub, mine and torpedo armaments, and a helicopter. The ship has a crew of 337, including 23 officers.

The Pentagon told reporters earlier that the ships would pay the visit as a part of standard military planning for security purposes during the Sochi Olympic Games.

Voice of Russia, Interfax

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Novinite
February 3, 2014

US Warships Posted Near Sochi During Olympics

Two US warships with 600 marines deployed aboard, sent as a part of standard military planning for security purposes during the Sochi Olympic Games, have come to the Black Sea.

Days before the opening of the Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the frigate USS Ramage and the flag ship of the US Sixth Fleet, the USS Mt. Whitney, have arrived in the Black Sea, Bulgarian private Tv Station BTV announced, citing reports of Interfax.

The Pentagon announced in late January the dispatching of military forces, including two ships in the Black Sea, in order to assist Russia in securing the Sochi Olympics between 7 -23 February.

Earlier in January, Russia has announced a set of security measures, including 37,000 police officers from around the country patrolling Sochi.

An additional 23,000 members of the Ministry for Civil Protection are to be stationed in the city, as well as numerous soldiers, border patrol and an unknown number of intelligence agents.

Naval vessels and submarines will patrol the coast while drones and fighter jets guard the Games from the skies.

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