US Missile-Cruiser Returns To Black Sea To "Promote Peace And Stability"

Tyler Durden's picture

The last time the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) crossed the Bosphorus was three weeks ago to depart the Black Sea, following the end of the Bulgaria-led NATO exercise Breeze 2014. Back then, the departure of the cruiser left no American ship in the Black Sea but the numbers of NATO ships have been on the rise since March. Ahead of Vella Gulf’s departure, there were nine NATO ships in the Black Sea on July 9, according to Russian state news service RIA Novosti.

The reason for the departure: all warships from countries without a coast on the Black Sea operate under the 1936 Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits, whose rules call for foreign warships to depart the Black Sea after 21 days.

It's time to reboot the Montreux 21 day countdown, and following a rest in the Mediterranean and as a result of the most recent deterioration in second Cold War, the USS Vella Gulf has re-entered the Black Sea, the ship's third trip to the Black Sea. The reason: "to promote peace and stability in the region."

Here is how Vella crew was killing time before its re-repeat entry into the Black Sea.

From the US Navy:

Vella Gulf’s mission is to improve interoperability and work toward mutual goals, demonstrating the United States’ commitment to strengthening the collective security of NATO allies and partners in the region.


The U.S. Navy’s forward presence in Europe allows us to work with our allies and partners to develop and improve ready maritime forces capable of maintaining regional security.


Vella Gulf, homeported in Norfolk, Va., is deployed in a multi-mission role in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations to contribute to regional maritime security, conduct bilateral and multilateral training missions, and to support NATO operations and deployments throughout the region.


U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.

Meanwhile, considering the rest of the world is as much a powder keg as it was a hundred years ago, here is the full breakdown of the US fleet around the globe courtesy of Stratfor.

Carrier Strike Groups

  • The USS George H.W. Bush CSG with CVW 8 embarked is underway for a deployment in the U.S. 5th Fleet AOR supporting maritime security operations and conducting theater security cooperation efforts.
  • The USS Ronald Reagan with CVW 2 embarked is underway in the Pacific Ocean participating in the Rim of the Pacific 2014 naval exercises.
  • The USS George Washington CSG with CVW 5 embarked is underway in the U.S. 7th Fleet AOR for its summer patrol.
  • The USS Nimitz is on a scheduled port visit to Naval Magazine Indian Island in Port Townsend, Wash., for ammunition offload.

Amphibious Ready Groups/Marine Expeditionary Units

  • The USS Bataan ARG with the 22nd MEU embarked is underway for a deployment in the U.S. 5th Fleet AOR supporting maritime security operations and conducting theater security cooperation efforts.
  • The USS Peleliu is underway in the Pacific Ocean participating in the Rim of the Pacific 2014 naval exercises.
  • The USS Essex is on a scheduled port visit to Seattle, Wash., for Seattle Seafair Fleet Week.
  • The USS Kearsarge is underway in the Atlantic Ocean for routine training.
  • The USS Iwo Jima is underway in the Atlantic Ocean for routine training.
  • The USS Makin Island is underway in the Pacific Ocean for a scheduled deployment.

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NOTaREALmerican's picture

I wonder if there are any Russian ships in Lake Michigan?

y3maxx's picture

..."Peace Movement" is taking hold in many areas around the globe. sarc off World War countdown in 10, 9, 8...

kliguy38's picture

might as well paint a bulls eye on the side of it....... ya aint off the coast of Kuwait and those boyz play for you better get as many missiles off on your first salvo because it'll be your last in that pond.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

No worries about the Vella Gulf!  Unless that boat goes down, bummer, that's where I put all my gold.

Winston Churchill's picture

What gold ?

I know nuffink, nuffink.

7.62x54r's picture

Sacrificial victim.

If the Russians don't sink it, the Ukrainians will, and blame it on the Russians.

johngaltfla's picture

Bingo. It's a SFD:





AldousHuxley's picture

No war is fought with Department of Offense.


john39's picture

false flag bait? is that a word?

NotApplicable's picture

More like a dick waving contest.

Boogity's picture

Or in the case of the mighty LGBT-infested USA military, a strap on waving contest. 

The USA Navy should just get it over with, come out of the closet, and name their ships after famous lesbos, poofters, and transexuals.  They should probably start with the "USS Ellen Degeneres", the "USS Liberace", and the "USS Ru Paul". 

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

You're getting warm. The real reason that the US has its warships in the area, is that Nuttynyahoo is desperate to get the Intel about Russian (Shkval) rockets, before they go after Iran.

The US And Ukraine are therefore under strict instructions to provoke the Russians into a Salvo that will provide the necessary intel. The US is just a proxy and an errand-goy for the Zionists.

Mark Urbo's picture

"Nobel Peace Prize" from the Nobel Peace Prize president...  /s


..there, fixed it.

Idaho potato head's picture

We will keep bombing until calm is restored..

JohninMK's picture

No chance in the lakes, but the Gulf of Mexico? That would set the USN on edge.

pods's picture

Next thing you will say is a Chinese Sub is gonna launch a missile just off of LA.


Postal's picture

We couldn't get that lucky...

Seeing Red's picture

No need.  South San Andreas Fault is pregnant and overdue.  LA is a deathtrap (discussed awhile ago).

Freddie's picture

Link with pictures or it never happend.

Seeing Red's picture

Too bad you never learned to use Google.  Try this:

There are more interesting articles, harder to find, but this is probably the wrong forum for that.

p.s.  In case anyone is still confused:  NOTHING has "happened".  Yet.

Freddie's picture

Chill bro.  Thanks for the link.  I upvoted you so be cool.

Heyoka's picture

Russian subs and surface ships are always in the Gulf.

Winston Churchill's picture

Was being sarcastic.

Is it John in Milton Keynes ?

I used to live in Woburn Sands.

STG5IVE's picture

There's Russian algae in Lake Erie

johngaltfla's picture

I wonder if there are any Russian ships in Lake Michigan?


No, but we've had Russian subs checking out the T&A on our beaches down here in Florida apparently...

alexcojones's picture

Modern warships have been rendered Redundant/ death traps

In Time of War.

The Sunburn - Iran's Awesome Nuclear Anti-Ship Missile

"The Sunburn missile has never seen use in combat, to my knowledge, which probably explains why its fearsome capabilities are not more widely recognized. Other cruise missiles have been used, of course, on several occasions, and with devastating results. During the Falklands War, French-made Exocet missiles, fired from Argentine fighters, sunk the HMS Sheffield and another ship. And, in 1987, during the Iran-Iraq war, the USS Stark was nearly cut in half by a pair of Exocets while on patrol in the Persian Gulf. On that occasion US Aegis radar picked up the incoming Iraqi fighter (a French-made Mirage), and tracked its approach to within 50 miles. The radar also "saw" the Iraqi plane turn about and return to its base. But radar never detected the pilot launch his weapons. The sea-skimming Exocets came smoking in under radar and were only sighted by human eyes moments before they ripped into the Stark, crippling the ship and killing 37 US sailors."

hobopants's picture

Umm hasn't pretty much everything conventional been rendered obsolete by nukes?? But You know, that whole mutually assured destruction thing pretty much renders nukes like that one pointless too, unless you want to turn the world to glass.

But hell fantasize away, I'm sure shooting nukes at each other will turn out well for everyone involved.

socalbeach's picture

I would recommend you acquaint yourself with Russia's doctrine of national security.

July 9, 2014

Lavrov advised international community not to even think of returning Crimea to Ukraine

"In case of armed attack at Crimea Russia will act according to the doctrine of national security..."

National Security Concept of the Russian Federation

" ... The main task of the Russian Federation is to deter aggressions of any scale against it and its allies, including with the use of nuclear weapons. The Russian Federation must have nuclear forces capable of delivering specified damage to any aggressor state or a coalition of states in any situation..."

hobopants's picture

That is um, cool I guess? But I'm not sure what you are trying to prove? That Russia has nukes and will use them? Not exactly breaking news there bud.

See what the cheerleaders don't seem to get is that if Russia nukes the evil bankers and the evil bankers nuke Russia, nobody wins, everyone dies and it sucks all the way around. No nuclear anti-ship missle is going to change that.

You use a nuke against another nuclear power and we are all fucked. So that missle is pointless, just like the big ship it is suppose to take out.

I like Putin well enough, but some of you bozos are willing to throw logic out the window in your adoration of him.

Being on the morally correct side of a power struggle doesn't give you magical powers to negate the consequences of nuclear war.

Rooting for Putin is all good and well, but don't forget to spend some time with reality every once in awhile. 


Ides of November's picture

There is no chance Putin will launch a first strike against American territory.

No chance.

There is a greater than 0 chance the US/NATO will launch a strike against Russia, probably against Crimea.

What happens after that?

Well, clearly Russia will sink the USS Vella. If I was on that ship I would be deserting right about now. I wonder how many on the ship know who they're really fighting for?

socalbeach's picture

Fair question. The 2 links in combination suggest Russia will use nuclear weapons if Crimea is attacked.  What about Transnistria ?  I don't know.  I don't share your opinion that a nuclear war can't be limited.

hobopants's picture

I don't share your opinion that a nuclear war can't be limited.

I would love for you to defend that position. Especially considering that both Russia and the USA thought otherwise for the entire length of the cold war.


"The doctrine further assumes that neither side will dare to launch a first strike because the other side will launch on warning (also called fail-deadly) or with secondary forces (asecond strike), resulting in unacceptable losses for both parties. The payoff of the MAD doctrine is expected to be a tense but stable global peace."

logicalman's picture

It would likely only take a few nukes to send the world back a few millenia.

Survival would be a curse, not a blessing.


Winston Churchill's picture

Assuming you have rational players.

Thats the fatal flaw.

Pure luck got the world thru' the Cuban crises.

Are you feeling lucky ?

hobopants's picture

Human beings are always rational, don't you know that? The thing that scares me is the fact that we have only had nuclear weapons for what? Less than 100 years? History says that if people have the power to do something, they eventually do it.

There is no such thing as a limited nuclear war when both sides have the bombs...

socalbeach's picture

That's easy since I'm not claiming that "turn[ing] the world to glass" or "everyone dies" isn't impossible either.

One plausible scenario: NATO and Russia get into a conventional shooting war (the West seems to be doing everything possible to get a war involving Russia started(*)). The combined 28 NATO member states overwhelm Russia, and Russia starts using tactical nukes to take out carrier battle groups, military bases, etc.  NATO retaliates with nuclear weapons against Russian military bases and sea assets.  Maybe a few large cities on each side get taken out also (Washington DC, Silicon Valley, naval bases in San Diego or North Carolina, etc.).

Since a case can be made that the shadow government controlling the US and other "Western" powers are not loyal to any one of its constituent members(*), they could agree to a ceasefire after Russia has gotten in the last attack.  They wouldn't care if the US "loses".

(*) don't want to provide evidence now to backup those 2 claims.

hobopants's picture

Quite the optimist, Since the cold war the infrastructure for nuclear weapons deployment has been geared towards total obliteration of the enemy, the escalation would be as such that there would be no time for diplomacy or a ceasefire.

Once the first one goes off, that's it. Limited nuclear war only exist in a situation where only one side possesses nuclear weapons, like Japan faced during WWII, believing otherwise is just wishful thinking.

Urban Redneck's picture

Are you implying that the US spent billions of dollars and devoted all that manpower and mental capacity designing, manufacturing and deploying all those tactical nuclear weapons as some sort of joke or shovel-ready jobs program?

Sandmann's picture

destroy Tel Aviv and the US will be a headless cockroach

Urban Redneck's picture

You should really go back and study nuclear game theory.

Use of tactical nuclear weapons on the battle field is different and distinct from a strike on the home nation whose troops are on the battlefield, precisely because a full scale launch in response to the use of a tactical nuke on the battlefield is irrational.

(Whether anyone responsible for command of control of nuclear weapons would still be rational after their tactical use on the battlefield is a separate matter)

trulz4lulz's picture

Ah the old SS-N-22 variant cruise missle. A true marvel in rocket technology. Deadly as well.

giggler321's picture

They are so big even a turban hooded guy on with a shoulder luncher and instructions from ebay in urdo could sink it.  That said, their kitchens are 2nd to none, with all modern facilities able to produce some very fine nosh.  I'd recommend the pride of la'harve if they hadn't of stopped the service.  Getting to france is the problem, so much dog poo on the floor even the tour operator's giving away doggy bags - wrong forum...  All this war talk isn't helping any body.

JuliaS's picture

I'd expand the definition to all manned vehicles, except submarines.

Guided projectiles exist for elimination of any mechanized threat and with missiles costing less than the infrastructure they typically destroy it makes more and more sense to go for the cheapest delivery option - drones.

Ships are obsolete. Jets are obsolete. Tanks are obsolete. They're only effective in battles against marginally equipped foes in 3rd world countries.

Real-time intel in todays warfare is more vauable than the munitions. That comm tower on top of the deck is probably worth more strategically than the entire hull. Transmitters, receivers, radars, jammers is where it's at.

Then again, the capacity already exists on land. The ship doesn't have to be there. Empty posturing and unnecessary risk of actual human lives.

JohninMK's picture

It is the carriers airborne 'eyes and ears' where the real value is. Kill the carrier, no plane after fuel runs out, everything goes blind/deaf.

JohninMK's picture

Don't forget torpedos, so what you say, old hat, 80mph tops.

Not Russian ones, this little beastie gets to 200mph underwater, with a 300mph version possibly underway. Fast enough to get to another submarine before its wire guided torps can reach the Russian. The West has nothing like it. Scares the shit out of them.

Also fitted to your friendly local Chinese sub.

Bet your local politican, busy signing off of big new ships, has no idea.

JohninMK's picture

The 'other ship' was the SS Atlantic Conveyor. The loss of 6 Wessex and  4 Chinook helicopters almost cost the British the war. Anti ship missile ASM defences are better than they were but are helpless against a 'swarm' attack. Like 200 Iranian power boats each with a couple of Hellfire type missiles, with shoulder SAMs to keep defending helicopters/planes at bay.

Interestingly, the Russian version of the Mistral helicopter carrier has far more anti ASM hardware than the French. The new British carriers have pathetical little such defence, relying on supporting ships and aircraft. They clearly do not expect to have to fight in their lives.

The Chinese DF-21 ballistic ASM is a particular threat to the USN, probably rendering the South China Sea a no-go area for US carriers. It is rumoured that a, highly advanced technology, drone captured in Iran in 2011 will by now have been reverse engineered and elements of it incorporated in the DF-21 to give it a variable track (similar to Hamas fuelling their rockets with an inconsistant mix propellant to fool Iron Doom predictive tracking).

Carriers are for show (force projection) and use against an ill equiped and inferior enemy. Against Russia and China they are potentially large coffins. In reverse so are the Russian and Chinese carriers,

Boogity's picture

"Carriers are for show (force projection) and use against an ill equiped and inferior enemy. Against Russia and China they are potentially large coffins"

True... But they give old Johnny McCain a stiffie, which allows his effeminate man crush Lindsey Graham to fullfill his dutes as old Johnny's "understudy". 

Relentless101's picture

"Promoting peace and stability." I kind of think you meant that other thing...