Batumi Black Sea port hosting US Navy destroyer Donald Cook

  • The destroyer operates as part of the US 6th Fleet, with its previous visit to Georgian waters coming in January 2019. Photo: US Embassy in Georgia., 5 Feb 2021 - 15:33, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia's Black Sea port city of Batumi welcomed USS Donald Cook, a destroyer from the US Naval Forces Europe-Africa, on Friday in the latest visit of the vessel in Georgian waters.

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer docked in the western Georgian city for a refuelling stop in preparation of its work with the Georgian Coast Guard aimed to "improve readiness, strengthen maritime domain awareness, and refine bilateral interoperability," US Embassy in Georgia said.

Commissioned in 1998 and "homeported" in Rota, Spain, Donald Cook last visited the Georgian port in January 2019 as a "show of support for regional security and stability".

The US 6th Fleet ship is equipped with four tactical missile launchers as well as guns, cannons and torpedo launchers.

It was upgraded in 2012 to be compatible with the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, a US programme against short to intermediate-range ballistic missiles. It also features a landing pad accommodating an SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopter.