By Ensign Shannon McKeon, Public Affairs Officer, USS Ross (DDG 71)
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) began its south-bound international strait transit en route to the Mediterranean Sea on March 3, 2020 after conducting maritime security operations intended to 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 in 2020. Ross was also the last ship to visit the Black Sea in 2019, marking the 8th visit by a U.S Navy ship last year.
“Our time in the Black Sea was extremely productive, allowing us to train with regional partners to enhance our collective readiness and work towards our shared goals of peace and stability,” said Cmdr. John John, commanding officer of Ross.
Prior to entering the Black Sea, Ross operated with the French aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle (R 91) as part of Combined Task Force 473 in the Mediterranean during FOCH, a major French naval deployment. While in the Black Sea, Ross conducted several multinational exercises with local partners, to include Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria, enhancing interoperability through tactical training events.
Ross visited Varna, Bulgaria, for a two day port visit. In Varna, the ship hosted various Bulgarian media representatives for tours and a press event, and John met with the city mayor and the Bulgarian chief of naval operations.
The ship’s operations in the Black Sea strengthen interoperability with NATO allies and partners and demonstrate collective resolve to 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 on a routine patrol. 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.