BLACK SEA (NNS) — The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) was assisted by the Spanish Navy in a non-emergent medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) to help a Sailor in need of medical attention for a non-life-threatening injury, July 22, 2020.
Porter is participating in U.S.-Ukrainian cohosted exercise Sea Breeze 2020 alongside partners and allies, including the Spanish Navy, and does not have an embarked helicopter. Nearby Spanish frigate Alvaro de Bazan (F101) assisted in the MEDEVAC.
“Alvaro de Bazan’s assistance once again demonstrates the strength of our NATO Alliance,” said Capt. Joseph A. Gagliano, commander, Task Force (CTF) 65. “No matter where we are, even in the distant waters of the Black Sea, our allies always stand side-by-side with us.”
The Porter Sailor was transported to nearby Odesa, Ukraine, in a Spanish Navy helicopter for a non-life-threatening injury. The Sailor is in stable condition and awaiting further medical treatment in Porter’s homeport of Rota, Spain.
“We are very appreciative of the Spanish Navy’s quick response and assistance in caring for our Sailor,” said Cmdr. Craig Trent, commanding officer of Porter. “This is a great example of allies and partners working together towards a common goal. We stand stronger together.”
Sea Breeze is an annual exercise designed to enhance interoperability among participating nations and strengthen regional security. The exercise began in 1997, bringing Black Sea nations together to train and operate with NATO members to build interoperability and increase capability.
Sea Breeze 2020 is occurring exclusively at sea. This precaution allows units to enhance multinational operational cooperation, while ensuring that crews remain healthy and ready to provide continuous regional security.
Porter, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa.
All participating nations have carefully considered participation in the exercise and have taken appropriate measures to ensure the safety and health of participating military personnel.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.