Text: Southern Military District Press Service
Summer activation of Black Sea Naval Cooperation Task Group (BLACKSEAFOR) finished on Aug 24 in Novorossiysk, Russia. The closing ceremony took place in the morning at Novorossiysk seaport and was held with national flags and anthems of participating countries.
Commanding officers of the ships paid a parting visit to BLACKSEAFOR Commander Capt Hakan Gunes (Turkish Navy) and then corvette Heybeliada (Turkey), harbor minesweeper Shkval (Bulgaria), corvette Macellariu (Romania), landing ship Novocherkassk (Black Sea Fleet, Russia), and command ship Slavutich (Ukraine) departed from Novorossiysk setting homeward courses.
In the period of Aug 12-24, the international naval task group has covered over 1,500 nautical miles and held somewhat 60 exercises. Among them were repelling attacks of small-size fast targets in restricted use of force conditions, joint maneuvering in formation, engagement of "enemy" surface ships, rendering assistance in emergency situation, keeping sea denial, inspection of suspect ships, rescuing people in distress, underway replenishment, voice and visual communication procedures, etc.
Some tasks were accomplished in cooperation with the Black Sea Harmony operational headquarters based in Turkish port Eregli and BLACKSEAFOR command post located in Divnomorskoye, Russia.
The BLACKSEAFOR ships called at Turkish ports Gölcük and Trabzon; also, they visited Russian naval base Novorossiysk and observed the Confidence-2012 naval exercise held by Russian Black Sea Fleet assets.
When leaving Novorossiysk, the ships of the international task group made farewells by heading in column alongside the BLACKSEAFOR flagship Turkish corvette Heybeliada. When the ceremony was over, the task group command changed and the ships set courses to home bases.
The next BLACKSEAFOR activation will be held in Apr 2013.