SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine – Ukrainian naval officers and sailors visited the guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) on Jan. 27 and 28, during a scheduled port visit.
This visit to Ukraine serves to continue U.S. 6th Fleet efforts to build global maritime partnerships with European nations and enhance maritime safety and security.
“We had a visit from the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Ukraine navy, Sergei Ryabstery, and about ten of his more senior chiefs,” said Vella Gulf’s command master chief, Sheila Langejans. “He wanted to see how we manage our young Sailors and how we work with them to grow as leaders and more productive technicians.”
After a lunch with Ukrainian and U.S. naval officers, Capt. Mark Harris, commanding officer of Vella Gulf, personally toured with Ukrainian navy Capt. Andrew Ryzhenko.
The tour continued the next day when Ukrainian sailors came aboard to view the different areas of the ship including the bridge, flight deck, mess halls and officers’ quarters.
“The Ukrainian Sailors seemed to have a really good time,” said Ensign James Wolters. “They were really impressed with the weapons and they really thought that the six-man officers’ berthings were extravagant. They all seemed very appreciative of the tour. It was a really pleasant experience.”
U.S. 6th Fleet continues to collaborate with the Ukrainian Navy and other global maritime partners, increasing the collective capability of the region and enhancing overall maritime domain awareness in the Black Sea.
Vella Gulf, homeported out of Norfolk, Va., is conducting theater security cooperation and maritime security operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.