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Training Campaign for ITS Durand de la Penne in the Black Sea. Still on the training campaign for Livorno Naval Academy 2nd class cadets

13 September 2017 10.00

The 2017 Training Campaign for Livorno Naval Academy  2nd class cadets  ended last September 13 when destroyer Luigi Durand de la Penne   set sail from Varna port, Bulgaria.

Before Varna, our destroyer made stops in Odessa port, Ukraine, where the cadets and the crew alike got acquainted with local traditions and culture, strengthening the friendly feelings towards Italy  and our Navy. In fact, many ceremonial, cultural, social activities, visits to local authorities took place, while hundreds  of common citizens crowded into the docks just to visit the unit.

Last September 5, Italy's ambassador to Ukraine, Davide La Cecilia, met the crew to express his gratitude and closeness to the Italian Navy. During the press conference that fiollowed, attended by 50 representatives of the Ukrainian press, he stressed the strategic importance and the value of this visit.

During the stop, the cadets onboard the Durand de la Penne visited the city and met the Odessa National Maritime Academy, a fundamental institution in the world of seamanship. Especially important is the memorial service for the sinking of Italian destroyer Carlo Alberto Racchia on July 21, 1920 in the waters off Odessa, while engaged to escort a cargo convoy transporting over 3,000 war prisoners back to Russia.

On this occasion, ITS Durand de la Penne diving team, together with a share of Ukrainian divers, placed a plaque on the sea bottom, near the wreckage, while on the surface a ceremony was held to lay a wreath in the sea.

The ceremony was presided over by the Ukrainian ambassador to Italy, the Papal Nuncio in Ukraine and the unit's commanding officer; also present political and military Ukrainian authorities, including Ukraine Navy Chief of Staff, and the vice-governor of Odessa region. The Ukrainian paid tribute to the Italian seamen who died in the line of duty with their own guard of honour.

After leaving Odessa port, ITS Luigi Durand de la Penne sailed towards Varna, Bulgaria, where she stopped until last Monday 11. The Bulgarian city also warmly welcomed the arrival of our unit, as proven by the great affluence of visitors onboard. During the first day, besides the routine activities, the Ateires course cadets carried out a touching wreath laying ceremony before the monument to Nikola Vaptsarov -  a seaman, a poet and a Bulgarian hero, in the Bulgarian Naval Academy.

A delegation of cadets and crew of the unit then visited the Institute and its planetarium. After leaving the Black Sea, ITS Luigi Durand del al Penne is sailing towards Aksaz, Turkey, on her way back to Livorno where    the Training Campaign for the 2nd class cadets - ready to become aspiring midshipmen, will end.