The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) departed Aksaz, Turkey following a regular scheduled port visit on its sixth forward-deployed naval forces (FDNF) patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations, Jan. 3, 2019. The two-day visit provided Sailors the opportunity to interact with local citizens, partake in a tour, experience Turkish culture and make preparations for the next leg of patrol. While in Aksaz, Commanding Officer Cmdr. Craig Trent visited with Ali Acar, mayor of Marmaris, Turkey and the District Governor Cemalettin Yuksel to exchange pleasantries and small gifts.
The Porter also hosted a luncheon for nine local Turkish naval officers including Rear Adm. Hasan Ozyurt, Aksaz southern task group commander, and Rear Adm. Semih Ozanguc, naval base commander, to express their gratitude for the port visit. After the luncheon, there was a small gift exchange where Cmdr. Trent presented ship coins and ball caps to the Turkish navy sailors. While on liberty, 120 Porter Sailors participated a tour of Dalyan Turtle Beach sponsored through the ship’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) program. The tour gave Sailors the chance to sail down the Dalyan River, visit the breeding ground of Loggerhead turtles, view rock tombs dating back to 400 B.C., and enjoy therapeutic mud from the river.
The ship’s patrol is a demonstration of the U.S. Navy’s continued commitment to strengthening strategic partnerships in the European and African region. While on patrol, Porter will conduct naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe. 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.