27 Aug 2008

US Navy Runs Off Russia’s Black Sea Fleet

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Chinese news service photo of USS McFaul delivering humanitarian supplies at Batumi

EarthTimes quotes an Interfax News Agency Russian press release indicating that the Russian Black Sea Fleet is “shifting positions” to the rear.

Elements of Russia’s Black Sea fleet shifted locations on Wednesday in an possible move to avoid a confrontation with a growing NATO warship flotilla near Georgia. Russian naval vessels operating off of Georgia’s coastline had moved from a station in the vicinity of the Georgian port Poti into “Abkhazian territorial waters,” said Sergei Menialo, commander of Russia’s Novorossisk naval base, according to an Interfax news agency report.

The shift took a group of some six to eight Russian warships that had been patrolling near the Georgian port of Poti out of the path of US warships reportedly planning to make a humanitarian aid delivery to the same location. …

NATO led by the US began a dramatic increase to its naval presence in the Black Sea in mid-August, after Russian refusal to abide by a Russo-Georgian ceasefire plan engineered by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The NATO flotilla led by the American destroyer USS McFaul already has exceeded ten warships and will reach eighteen vessels in coming days, Kremlin officials citing Russian intelligence said Tuesday.

German, Polish, Spanish, and Canadian warships are among the members of the multi-national squadron being assembled in the Black Sea, according to Georgian media reports.

Russian admiral Sergei Kasatonov admitted the growing NATO naval formation would soon be stronger than the Russian Black Sea warships off Georgia and Abkhazia’s shore, but added the Kremlin could in case of a confrontation deal with the western vessels “using other forms of combat power, including aviation assets.”

Years ago, when I was working on military simulations games, a historical discussion got going within the development group, a gang of hard-core military history buffs, about the threat to US and Nato forces posed by a much-reported Soviet Naval build-up.

“When was the last time Russia won a major naval engagement?” sardonically asked one of the senior designers.

Despite the vast store of expertise on matters of this kind readily at hand, puzzlement ensued.

One authority suggest the Battle of Navarino in 1827 during the Greek War of Independence. But the example was rejected because Russia had merely participated in a combined operation with France and Britain, under British command.

Finally, smiling, one of the most knowledgeable people present, suggested John Paul Jones‘ 1788 victory over the Turks in the Liman arm of the Black Sea. “But, they won’t have Jones in command today, will they?” he concluded, reducing the crowd of analysts and prognosticators to gales of derisive laughter at the idea of what would happen to the Russian Navy if it tried taking on a naval service like our own, one with a firm and unbroken tradition of victory.

7 Feedbacks on "US Navy Runs Off Russia’s Black Sea Fleet"

Dan Goldthrite Sr.

Ahhh finally facing the Russian sea dogs…

spank em good boys! I’m a Navy Vet and stared down the soviet fleet in the Persian Gulf during the Iranian Hostage Crisis.

We were alone and the odds were stacked against us, but we stood strong!

No NATO back up for us back then just the USS Hope a hospital ship.

Needless to say the soviets backed down.


gocha japharidze

wellcome to georgia


I think i have come to believe the many accusatons that we are militaristic. Matter of fact is no one wants a confrontation with nthe Russians. Even our screatary of Defense said it that we have spent 45 years trying to avoid a direct military confrontation with them. It doesnt make sense. All I know is if there was one, most of us wont be arround to even tell what happened, so what all this talk does is may be make us feel good. The reason why all this fuss about Gergia is because we trained their army and it was shamed with in 12 hours. Thats why there is all this fuss. I wouldnt care a crap about that Sakshville…whatever his name is. Spend all that money here. We need housing, jobs, college education instead of provoking a war that no one of us will ever leave to know what and who won!! Y’all stupid>

John Smith

I was once navigating officer on a large bulk carrier [one of the largest ships afloat at that time] and was surrounded by the nuclear powered & armed US sixth fleet which was shadowing my vast ship.
[Of which I was unaware].

The aircraft carriers were not exhibiting any navigation lights [of which they were obliged to do] – as they were on exercise [of which I had no idea. Indeed, at the time, I did not even realise they were ships, let alone the US sixth fleet! (until I was informed by my request to ‘whatever they were’ to “identify yourself” via calling up on my VHF)].

My radars indicated vast targets: For’d, Aft, on my port beam & on my starboard beam – with the courses of the targets neither opening nor closing, neither overtaking nor my ship overtaking them – just large targets that were surrounding my ship.

After calling up on VHF channel 16 to identify themselves – they would not.

I made it clear that if they did not respond – we WOULD [that was a promise] be on a collision course!

Afterwards, they rapidly explained who they were and why they were breaking the law in not exhibiting navigation lights – they disclosed [of which I was completely oblivious] that I was communicating with the USS America of the US 6th fleet and that they were on ‘exercise’ – operating on ‘radio silence’!

I’m sure that I would have not got a response if my ship had been some tiny vessel, but as it was a vast bulk carrier, fortunately I received an affirmative response. Had I not been informed of what I saw on my radars I would have thought I saw what I did not understand -might it have been some kind of UFOs?

[I saw light appearing at thousands of feet in the sky – just staying in one position – hovering. Then appearing to descend vertically down – apparently into [under?] the sea.

As a result of information from the navigating officer I realised they were vertical take off [Harrier] aircraft – exhibiting no navigation lights [as required by international law].

On reflection – if I had been the navigating officer of the USS America [rather than navigating officer on my own ship] I would have also broken ‘radio silence’ in response to such a request – as I was wondering what these large targets were with bright lights apparently coming out of the Mediterranean Sea – just one bright light at a time! Rapidly ascending vertically – other very bright lights appearing suddenly in the sky like a UFO then descending down vertically apparently into the sea.

It was – without doubt – the strangest experience from my naval career!

John Smith

One extra point – thank goodness you exercise discretion rather than stick rigidly to what some foolish commentators might suggest.

Life at sea does not compare with life on land.

I did not believe it – but I believe it is true – when you are no longer at sea – you do indeed miss it!!!

Nothing – absolutely nothing – beats being in command of a very large ship!!!
[As long as it is not going through a hurricane & your ship can’t take it!!!]


It would be a victory for the us no matter how you look at it. Our aircraft have constantly in history out flown and shot down all of Russia’s best to offer. Our ships are newer, more advanced by far. Our navy is larger by far. They dont even put to sea any aircraft carriers at all. In the best of the soviet navy we tracked Red subs with ease. They lacked the sonics we had. We have had and always will have a better line up of electronic war fare. As for the Georgian Russian war. Funny how an army of only 12,000 men held out so long against the powerful Russian’s. As for the Russians being so strong why do they back down as our fleet enters the black sea with aid to Georgia. Even the great Puttin said his fleet was no match for the NATO fleet on approach. It is clear as the sky is blue that our military is far more powerful than anything the Russians could put into service. They have backed down from our navy and airforce entirely over the last 50 years. We chased them out of Cuba and yet do you think they will prevent us from putting weapon systems in Poland? No we have already begun the installation of our systems.
The proof is in the pudding. Look to history, the Russian navy has never won a naval combat victory ever under its own command. Our navy on the other hand is deep rooted in victory. Our Naval and Marine forces are the best in the history of the world.
In my mind all competition for being the best was over on Nov 10, 1775. The rest is history!


America sucks Russia is the greatest we will come out on top and destroy the USA completely with our better weapons. RUSSIA IS THE GREATEST AND US WILL ALWAYS SUCK OUR ****. Our equipment is better as clearly proved in the Vietnam War. RUSSIA FOREVER RUSSIA FOREVER RUSSIA FOREVER. THE US SHALL BE DEMOLISHED!


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