US Navy Command ship Mount Whitney docks in Batumi, Georgia

This was the flagship vessel of the United States (US) Navy’s Sixth Fleet’s third visit to Georgia. Photo by US Embassy in Georgia, 14 Oct 2014 - 13:40, Tbilisi,Georgia

The flagship vessel of the United States (US) Navy’s Sixth Fleet has made a port visit in Georgia’s Black Sea port town Batumi in a bid to promote peace and stability in the region.

The USS Mount Whitney, which was also the command and control ship for the Commander Striking Force NATO, docked in Batumi on Tuesday.

The US Embassy in Georgia believed the Mount Whitney's visit reaffirmed America’s commitment to strengthening ties with NATO allies and partners like Georgia, while working toward mutual goals of promoting peace and stability in the Black Sea region.   

"Working with allies and partners is the cornerstone to ensuring security and stability within the region,” said Captain Mark Colombo, commanding officer of Mount Whitney.

"We will continue to train and operate as often as possible to reach that common goal.”

While in Georgia, Mount Whitney will conduct routine combined training with the Georgian Coast Guard, provide ship tours, hold a public concert for the local community, and host a reception for local officials.

"The Mount Whitney is here to strengthen ties in support of our enduring partnership with Georgia and we look forward to our visit,” the USS Mt Whitney Commanding Officer Mark Colombo said after arriving in Batumi. 

(From left) The USS Mt Whitney Commanding Officer Mark Colombo in Batumi. Photo by the US Embassy in Georgia.

The US Navy statement said the Mount Whitney’s mission was to "reassure NATO allies of the US Navy’s commitment to strengthen and improve interoperability while working towards mutual goals in the region”.

This was the flagship’s third visit to Georgia. The first time the Mount Whitney appeared in Georgia was in 2008, after the Russia-Georgia August War when it brought humanitarian aid. 

"The operation was part of the larger United States response to the Government of Georgia request for humanitarian assistance,” the US Embassy said.

The Mount Whitney more recently appeared in the Black Sea to support the February 2014 Sochi Olympics and again in Batumi in November 2013.  

The current visit will build on previous US Navy visits to Georgia that enhanced the professional and personal relationships between the United States and its allies and regional partners.

In addition, the US Naval Forces Europe Band will hold a public concert at Batumi Piazza on Wednesday October 15 where the "Allied Forces Jazz Diplomats" will perform a mix of American big band classics and exciting jazz vocal arrangements. Attendance is free of charge.

The US Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducted the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint and interagency partners in order to advance US national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.

The US Sixth Fleet area of operations covered approximately half of the Atlantic Ocean as well as the Adriatic, Baltic, Barents, Black, Mediterranean and North Seas.