By Steven Beardsley
Copyright 2014 Stars and Stripes
NAPLES, Italy — A pair of Navy ships has entered the Black Sea, where the top U.S. commander in Europe has said they will be available to respond to any emergencies arising from the Winter Olympic games in Sochi.
The USS Mount Whitney, an amphibious command ship, and the USS Taylor, a guided-missile frigate, arrived Tuesday on a routine and pre-scheduled deployment to the region, a U.S. Navy release said.
The Pentagon announced their planned deployment to the region in January, after terrorist groups threatened to disrupt the Olympic Games in the resort town on Russia’s Black Sea coast. The events begin Friday and run through Feb. 23.
Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, chief of U.S. European Command, said in an interview with Stars and Stripes on Saturday that one of the ships would offer command-and-control ability, a role seemingly filled by the Mount Whitney, the flagship of the U.S. 6th Fleet in Europe.