MEDITERRANEAN SEA: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) began its north-bound international strait transit en route to the Black Sea Feb. 23, 2020, to conduct maritime security operations and enhance regional maritime stability, combined readiness, and naval capability with our NATO allies and partners in the region.
This is the first time a U.S. Navy ship has visited the Black Sea since the beginning of 2020. Ross was the last ship to visit in the Black Sea, 2019, marking the 8th by a U.S Navy ship last year.
“With this visit, we are consistently strengthening our relationships with our Black Sea partners,” said Cmdr. John D. John, commanding officer of Ross. “Steady operations in the Black Sea are crucial to building a secure maritime environment and ensuring freedom of navigation.”
Ross recently operated with the French aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle (R 91) and as part of Combined Task Force 473 in the Mediterranean during FOCH, a major French navy deployment. Ross provided defensive capabilities for the strike group. In addition to the Ross, this French led deployment brought together, one after the other, forces from Greece, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain, providing a training opportunity for all participants to improve combat readiness.
The ship’s operations in the Black Sea will strengthen interoperability with NATO allies and partners and demonstrate collective resolve to Black Sea security under Operation Atlantic Resolve.
Ross, forward-deployed at Naval Station Rota, Spain, is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe. The U.S. Navy routinely operates in the Black Sea consistent with international law, including the Montreux Convention.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.