ANKARA

Turkish and US naval forces conducted a joint maritime exercise in the Black Sea, Turkey’s National Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.

Turkish frigates TCG Turgutreis and TCG Orucreis were part of the drill along with the USS Porter and USS Donald Cook destroyers of the US Navy, the ministry said in a statement.

Two Turkish Air Force F-16s and one US maritime patrol aircraft also participated in the exercise, it added.

“The training conducted for the fundamental types of naval warfare has further strengthened cooperation between the Naval Forces of the two countries and has contributed to their interoperability,” read the statement.

The ministry said Turkish Naval Forces have been “maintaining the Black Sea Harmony Operation since March 1, 2004, with the aim of contributing to the peace and security of the Black Sea within the framework of the ‘regional ownership’ principle.”

“As part of the operations, frigates, corvettes, assault boats, submarines and sea patrol planes display their flag and show their presence in the Black Sea, and various observations and expeditions are conducted,” the statement said.

“Within the scope of its planned activities, the Turkish Naval Forces conduct joint training and exercises at every opportunity with the elements of NATO, friendly and allied naval forces which have arrived in the Black Sea and regularly participates in the exercises organized by riparian countries.”

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