Large US landing ship with 500 marines enters the Black Sea

On Wednesday, March 7, the USS Oak Hill LSD 51 landing ship entered Black Sea waters. A photograph of the vessel’s passage through the Bosphorus Strait was published by the Istanbul information portals, Interfax reports.

“A large American landing ship, with divisions of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit with roughly 500 marines on board, is currently moving north towards the coast of Romania,” the report states.

The command of the US Navy’s Sixth Fleet said that the ship is going to take part in the Spring Storm 2018 drills (March 8-15), during which the marines will practice landing on the Romanian coast.

“The frequent presence of the Navy and naval marines in the Black Sea demonstrates the Sixth Fleet’s firm commitment to ensuring regional stability, security at sea and collective security with our NATO allies,” said Colonel Farrell Sullivan, commander of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

The Oak Hill is in the Mediterranean Sea as part of the US Navy’s amphibious landing group (which also includes the USS Iwo Jima amphibious assault ship and the USS New York amphibious transport dock ship).

There are roughly 2,500 marines on board the group of ships, which entered the Mediterranean on March 1. After the drills, the ships will proceed to the region of the Persian Gulf that is the responsibility of the US Fifth Fleet.

  Black Sea, USS Oak Hill, US Navy