AKSAZ, TURKEY (NNS) -- 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.
"The crew was excited to make our first port visit of patrol in Turkey,” said Command Master Chief Abel Griego. “For most of the Sailors, it was their first time ever visiting Turkey. We made the most of the time we had here, enjoying the rich culture, warm hospitality and beautiful scenery. This port visit gave us a chance to meet our Turkish Navy counterparts to support future engagements. In all, the crew was able relax and take in all that Turkey has to offer as well as bring on 127,000 gallons of fuel and 10 pallets of stores to continue with our mission."
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.
“I really enjoyed the tour,” said Seaman Gabreale Simmons. “My favorite part is a toss-up between the river ride and the mud bath. The tour guides were very nice and it was something I’ve never experienced before. I am thankful to have received the opportunity.”
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.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/naveur/.
For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element Det. Europe, visit www.navy.mil/local/NPASEDE/.