"The Navy is still prepared to render support to the Russian Federation in the event of a crisis or contingency operation," Eklund said in a phone interview Wednesday.
He said he could not go into detail on what other things the Navy has done to prepare, but officials have said repeatedly that they have assets that could be called into action for a variety of potential missions.
"The Navy has ships available for multiple taskings, assets that could be called upon, should they be the appropriate asset, and should the State Department request them," Defense Department spokeswoman Eileen Lainez said Wednesday. "There's been no request at this time."
The USS Mount Whitney, an amphibious command ship, and the USS Taylor, a guided-missile frigate, arrived in the Black Sea early this month. 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 Whitney is the flagship of the U.S. 6th Fleet in Europe; both ships have helicopter pads.
The Navy says no one was injured when the Taylor ran aground.
A senior Turkish port official said the ship's propeller scraped the surface as it was mooring at Samsun. The propeller was still being repaired and the Turkish military has extended permission for the ship to dock at Samsun until the end of the week, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak on the record to the media.
The propeller was expected to be fixed soon and the ship was likely to leave Samsun in a day or two, he said.
The official said security around the port had been tightened and that the Coast Guard had increased patrols.
Associated Press writer Suzan Fraser contributed to this report from Ankara.