NEWS | March 1, 2020

USS Ross Departs Varna, Bulgaria

By Ensign Shannon McKeon, Public Affairs Officer, USS Ross (DDG 71)

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) departed Varna, Bulgaria, Feb. 29, 2020 after completing a scheduled port visit as part of our continued Black Sea presence in support of our NATO allies and regional partners.

While in port, the Commanding Officer, Cmdr. John John, traveled to the city hall to meet with the mayor, Ivan Portnih.  He also visited the local Naval Headquarters to meet with the Commander of the Bulgarian navy, Rear. Adm. Kiril Mihaylov. 

We appreciate the hospitality the Bulgarian navy and the Varna provided during our port visit,” said John.  “The training exercises we conducted facilitated our mutual commitment to strengthening relationships in the Black Sea region for purposes of collective defense.”

After departing Varna, Ross conducted bilateral exercises with Bulgarian Navy Pauk-class corvette Bodri (BGS 14).  

Prior to engagements with Bulgaria, Ross participated in separate exercises engaging both the Turkish and Romanian navies.  These operational engagements increase collective security of the Black Sea. 

Ross entered the Black Sea on Feb. 23, 2020 to strengthen interoperability with NATO allies and partners and demonstrate our commitment to security in the Black Sea region.  Ross is the first U.S. naval vessel to conduct operations in the Black Sea in 2020, following a recent visit in December of 2019.

The U.S. Navy routinely operates in the Black Sea consistent with international law, as well as with 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.