CONSTANTA, Romania (NNS) -- Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet and commander, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO, met with NATO allies and partners during a visit to Varna, Bulgaria, and Constanta, Romania, Aug. 13-15, 2018.
While in Bulgaria, Franchetti met with Bulgarian Rear Adm. Mitko Petev, chief of the Bulgarian navy, to recognize the importance of Bulgarian defense initiatives, and their participation in international exercises and training in the Black Sea.
“By building and maintaining the strong and strategic relationship between our two navies, we can deter regional adversaries from further aggression and signal to the world that our commitment to regional security is strong and enduring,” said Franchetti. “The U.S.-Bulgarian relationship will continue to grow strong in the years to come through participation in regional exercises and security forums.”
Petev expressed gratitude for the support his navy receives from the U.S. Navy during a media availability at the Bulgarian Navy Headquarters in Varna.
“This visit is a visual image of the good cooperation and good will between our navies,” said Petev.
Franchetti then traveled to Constanta to participate in Romanian Navy Day celebrations.
Romanian Navy Day is held each year to celebrate those who have dedicated their lives to the sea. This year, celebrations were held for the first time in seven cities – Braila, Bucharest, Cernavoda, Constanta, Galati, Mangalia, and Tulcea, and involved service members, ships, and aircraft from several countries.
This year's Navy Day celebrations coincide with the 100th anniversary of the creation of Romania, which happened during the Paris Peace Conference of 1918 following World War I.
“On behalf of the Sailors and Marines of the U.S. 6th Fleet, I would like to extend my congratulations and best wishes to our valued friends and allies in the Romanian Navy,” said Franchetti at the Navy Day ceremony in Constanta. “For decades, our navies have maintained a vital strategic partnership based on collaboration, trust, and mutual commitment to regional security. As the Romanian Navy celebrates 158 years of excellence, please know that the United States Navy proudly stands with you in friendship and values your incalculable contributions to our shared security objectives in Europe.”
U.S. 6th 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.