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USS Vella Gulf Departs Varna, Bulgaria

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS140602-15
Release Date: 6/2/2014 12:25:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Edward Guttierrez III, USS Vella Gulf Public Affairs

VARNA, Bulgaria (NNS) -- Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) departed Varna, Bulgaria after a scheduled port visit June 2.

Vella Gulf's presence in Bulgaria reaffirms the United States' commitment to strengthening ties with NATO allies and partners, while working toward mutual goals of promoting peace and stability in the region.

Vella Gulf hosted the Chief of Staff of the Bulgarian navy, as well as other Bulgarian sailors for an official reception on the ship's flight deck. Visitors from the Bulgarian navy, police, Border Patrol and Port Authority were given tours of the ship, while Vella Gulf's Commanding Officer, Capt. Robert Katz, met with Varna's mayor at City Hall.

Sailors also participated in a local sporting event at the Bulgarian Naval Academy, visited the Bulgarian Naval Museum and toured the historic city of Varna.

Vella Gulf, homeported in Norfolk, Va., is deployed in a multi-mission role in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations to contribute to regional maritime security, conduct bilateral and multilateral training missions, and to support NATO operations and deployments throughout the region.

U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts a full range of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation missions in concert with coalition, joint, interagency, and other partners in order to advance security and stability in Europe and Africa.

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