Two corvettes “Boiky” and “Soobrazitelnyy”, a part of the Russian Navy’s Baltic Fleet, escorted the USS Gravely and USS Porter destroyers, which had entered the Baltic Sea, the Russian National Defense Management Center told reporters on January 21st.
The USS Gravely is an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer and is the flagship of NATO’s First Permanent Naval Group. In addition to guided missiles, the destroyer is armed with a missile defense system. It became the flagship of the Standing NATO Maritime Group (SNMG) 1 during a ceremony in Copenhagen, Denmark, January 14th, 2019.
Gravely was previously in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in May 2018 to participate in exercise Joint Warrior 18-1, an 11-day, semi-annual training exercise conducted in the coastal waters of the United Kingdom.
The USS Porter is also an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer. On April 7, 2017, the destroyer participated in the strike with Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syrian air base El-Shairat.
“Boiky” and “Soobrazitelnyy,” are Project 20380 corvettes, constructed for actions in the near-sea zone, artillery support for the amphibious assault forces. Commissioned on May 16, 2013 and October 14, 2011, respectively.
On January 11th, the US Navy tweeted that the USS Gravely pulled into Copenhagen and conducted an exercise en route to the Baltic Sea.
#USNavy photos of the day: #USSGravely pulls into #Copenhagen, #Denmark, #USSDecatur conducts exercise #NeonUnion19 with the Royal Bahrain Naval Force, #Sailors handle a bomb, and an F/A-18F Super Hornet lands aboard #USSJohnCStennis!
Info and download: https://t.co/qYXrqoVVlJ pic.twitter.com/YIpkRspvXP
— U.S. Navy (@USNavy) January 10, 2019
In addition to that there is an increase in presence of the US Navy in the Black Sea. On January 20th, images of the USS Donald Crook, a missile destroyer deployed to the region were posted online shortly after the warship entered the area.
#USSDonaldCook passed through Istanbul on 19th January 2019 northbound. This is the 1. deployment of this destroyer and 2. deployment of a US Navy warship to the Black Sea. To track movements of foreign warships through Bosphorus click here: https://t.co/MYUQ7ILfpJ pic.twitter.com/TEVqQLBlco
— Bosphorus Naval News (@Saturn5_) January 19, 2019
The Black Sea Fleet guard ship Pytlivy is tracking the US vessel’s movements.
This follows another US Navy warship which entered the Black Sea. On January 6th, the USS For McHenry (LSD 43), a US Navy landing ship, became the first US navy warship to enter the region after the November 25th incident between the Ukrainian Navy and the Russian Coast Guard south of the Kerch Strait.