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USS Mount Whitney Arrives in Istanbul for Visit Focused on U.S. and Turkish NATO Partnership

U.S. Embassy Ankara

August 18, 2023

The Blue Ridge-class command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) arrived in Istanbul, Türkiye for a scheduled port visit on August 18, 2023.

As a part of U.S. Sixth Fleet and U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) command, the ship regularly conducts exercises and operations with its Turkish partners to showcase teamwork and strengthen NATO interoperability.

U.S. Ambassador to Türkiye Jeffry Flake and U.S. Consul General Julie Eadeh visited the Mount Whitney on August 18.  “Türkiye is a longstanding and valued NATO Ally,” said Ambassador Flake.  “The Mount Whitney’s visit is an opportunity to further strengthen our deep military partnership with Türkiye, which helps ensure a secure and prosperous region.”

While in Istanbul, U.S. Sixth Fleet and its commander, Vice Admiral Thomas Ishee, will host a reception of Turkish dignitaries and military delegates, reinforcing the Turkish and U.S. Navies’ enduring relationship.  Mount Whitney’s crew and embarked staff will also have the opportunity to participate in Morale, Welfare and Recreation events.

“The Sailors and Civilian Mariners of Team 20 are looking forward to experiencing the rich culture that Türkiye and the people of Istanbul have to offer,” said Capt. Matthew Kiser, commanding officer of the Mount Whitney. “More than that, this port visit provides a great opportunity for continued cooperation with our important Turkish allies, deepens the trust we have in one another and strengthens our relationships.”

Forward deployed to Gaeta, Italy, Mount Whitney’s visit upholds the U.S. Navy and NATO’s collective commitment of defense of the European region and upholds the solidity of the NATO alliance. Mount Whitney is the U.S. Sixth Fleet flagship and operates with a combined crew of U.S. Sailors and Military Sealift Command civil service mariners.

U.S. Sixth 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.

NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.

For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with allies and partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability. 

For pictures and the U.S. Navy press release:


By U.S. Mission Turkey | 18 August, 2023 | Topics: News, Press Releases, U.S. & Türkiye