USS Laboon Missile Destroyer Visits Georgia

On June 27-29, the USS Laboon (DDG-58), an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer from the United States’ Navy 6th Fleet, made a port visit to Batumi, Georgia, to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to strengthening ties with NATO allies and partners like Georgia, while working toward mutual goals of promoting security and stability in the Black Sea region.

While in Georgia, the Laboon conducted routine combined training with the Georgian Coastguard and provided ship and press tours. According to the US Embassy in Tbilisi, the Laboon’s port visit will further build upon previous U.S. Navy visits to Georgia that enhance the professional partnerships and personal relationships between the United States and its allied and partner nations.

“The making of a port visit by a US ship in Batumi puts an emphasis on the two countries’ friendship,” Davit Usupashvili, Georgia’s Parliamentary Chairman told reporters.

Usupashvili says the United States and Georgia plan to tackle threats together and this is confirmed by their joint activities in Afghanistan among other areas of unrest, adding “today’s event represents a message that Georgia is not alone.” 

“The two countries have decided to deepen cooperation in all areas including the military field. Today’s event is very significant. The world community is ready to provide peace and stability in the world including our region,” the chairman maintained. 

U.S. Ambassador Richard Norland underlined that the visit of this ship once again represents American commitment to working together with Georgia, to enhance Georgia’s deterrent capabilities, its professionalism and the capability of its armed forces.

“This is a sign that the United States and Georgia, NATO and Georgia will continue to cooperate to increase security in the region,” noted Norland.

Usupashvili thanked the U.S. Ambassador, the ship captain and the crew members for visiting Georgia as well as the Adjarian government for hosting the guests. 

The Laboon, home-ported in Norfolk, Virginia, is deployed in a multi-mission role to contribute to regional maritime security, conduct bilateral and multilateral training missions, and to support NATO operations and deployments throughout the Black Sea region.

The U.S. Navy routinely operates ships in the Black Sea consistent with the Montreux Convention and International Law.

Zviad Adzinbaia

02 July 2015 22:36