The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116) conducted a four-day port visit in Kiel, Germany, on June 22, 2021, the U.S. Navy 6th Fleet announced.
The port visit took place after participating in the 50th iteration of Exercise BALTOPS, a joint, maritime-focused exercise to increase interoperability and enhance flexibility between NATO allies and partners.
During the port visit, crew members had an opportunity to visit Kiel and take time to rest and unwind while being in full compliance with U.S. Navy COVID-19 standing guidance.
“Thomas Hudner’s crew was excited to visit Kiel and to experience the great hospitality of our German allies after participating in BALTOPS 50,” said Cmdr. Bo Mancuso, commanding officer, USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116). “Conducting realistic and relevant training is essential to maintain readiness and maritime security. Through our steadfast commitment to our NATO allies and European partners, we will remain vigilant to defend, deter and when necessary, fight to protect a strong, free and prosperous U.S. and Europe.”
Mancuso added that the USS Thomas Hudner’s crew was excited to demonstrate the numerous capabilities that U.S. warships bring to integrated operations and are looking forward to future opportunities to participate in similar exercises.
BALTOPS 50 was conducted between June 6-18, bringing both air and maritime assets from 16 NATO allied countries and two partner nations together to participate in events such as air defense, anti-submarine warfare, amphibious operations, maritime interdiction, and mine countermeasure operations. Participating nations include: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
“Having the opportunity to explore Kiel after BALTOPS was phenomenal,” said Gunner’s Mate Third Class Thomas Bishop. “I bought some souvenirs for my parents and had a great time experiencing German food with my friends.”
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