RIGA, Latvia (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) departed Riga, Latvia, Jan. 26 following a scheduled port visit.
The visit served to enhance U.S.-Latvia relations as the two NATO allies work together for a stable, secure, and prosperous region.
While in Riga, Cmdr. Craig Trent, commanding officer of Porter, gave remarks to the local media, met with Latvian Maj. General Ivo Mogilnijs, deputy chief of defense, and Paul Poletes, deputy chief of mission. The ship also hosted a luncheon for the Baltic Naval Command and Staff students.
“It was a great opportunity to share our experiences and vision with our Latvian allies,” said Cmdr. Thomas Ralston, executive officer of Porter. “These engagements are important to strengthen our alliance and build capacity to improve interoperability.”
While on liberty, members of the crew received the opportunity to attend a skiing trip hosted by the ship’s morale welfare and recreation. Sailors also volunteered to help refurbish a house into a storage facility for animal food at one of Latvia's premier animal parks, Ligatnes Nature Trail and Zoo.
“Latvia is beautiful,” said Information Systems Technician 1st Class Brian Nattress. “I joined the Navy having a passion for travel and cities like Riga only add to that passion. The Latvian people gave us such a warm welcome and we all really enjoyed our stay.”
Porter, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is on its sixth patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S national security interests in Europe and Africa.
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.
For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element Det. Europe, visit www.navy.mil/local/NPASEDE/.