Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Shipping limits through the Bosphorus

When it comes to Maritime expertise, I always go to the Eagle. I did wonder why no major ships were taking supplies into the Black Sea.

I also have to wonder why the US Coast Guard is in that area. Any takers? I can't think of any parts of the US coast near Greece!


EagleSpeak: Shipping limits through the Bosphorus: "Interesting read on U.S. intentions with respect to the Black Sea at Oktay Eksi: United States scratches the Montreux Convention itch.

I won't comment on his conjecture about what reasons other than Georgia the U.S. might want access to the Black Sea for, but it should be noted:

The Montreux Convention limits the total weight of a single warship that countries not bordering the Black Sea can deploy to 15,000 tons. Country’s bound by the agreement can deploy warships totaling a maximum of 45,000 tons.

So, if you wonder why we are sending destroyers and a Coast Guard cutter...now you know."

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http://www.eaglespeak.us/2008/08/coast-guard-cutter-dalls-joins-uss.html
The Coast Guard cutter Dallas entered the Dardanelles; as a giant crane unloaded 55 tons of aid from the USS McFaul for refugees in Batumi, 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of another port, Poti, where Russian troops are still present.

This has been the first U.S. humanitarian mission via the sea to Georgia since the start of the conflict on Aug. 8, when Russia sent forces into Georgia to repel an attack on the Moscow-backed separatist region of South Ossetia that Tbilisi had started the day before.

U.S. Navy officials were met by Georgian officials, including Defense Minister David Kezerashvili.

Kezerashvili said that "the population of Georgia will feel more safe from today from the Russian aggression." "They will feel safe not because the destroyer is here but because they will feel they are not alone facing the Russian aggression," he was quoted by the AP as saying.

The McFaul is also outfitted with an array of weaponry, including Tomahawk cruise missiles, which can carry both conventional or nuclear warheads, and a sophisticated radar system. For security reasons the Navy does not say if ships are carrying nuclear weapons, but they usually do not.

The command ship USS Mount Whitney is due to follow the two U.S. warships carrying relief supplies to Georgia. The U.S. has already delivered some aid by military cargo plane but is now shipping in beds and food for the displaced.

NATO-member Turkey has authorized the three U.S. ships to sail through the Turkish straits into the Black Sea.

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