By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Christine Montgomery
The Arleigh Burke-Class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) completed a series of tactical air defense exercises with NATO fighter jets in the Baltic Sea, Sept. 25.
Ross joined four Portuguese Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons to simulate a variety of air defense scenarios. The exercises enhanced tactical proficiency of watch standers during an air defense and intercept exercise. The Portuguese are currently deployed in Malbork, Poland, conducting training and exercise activity with Allies and partners under NATO’s assurance measures.
“This exercise presents a unique training opportunity with our NATO Allies to increase our combined capability,” said Cmdr. John D. John, commanding officer aboard Ross. “Building on our collective interoperability helps to demonstrate our continued commitment to maintaining stability in the Baltic.”
Recently Ross has also conducted surface exercises with Portuguese Navy Vasco da Gama-class frigate NRP Corte-Real (F 332), who is currently underway on a regularly-scheduled deployment as part of Standing NATO Maritime Group (SNMG) 2, in a series of close proximity maneuvering.
Ross, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, began its 10th Forward Deployed Naval Forces-Europe (FDNF-E) patrol, Aug. 29 in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa.
Ross is one of four U.S. Navy destroyers based in Rota, Spain, and assigned to Commander, Task Force 65 in support of NATO’s Integrated Air Missile Defense architecture. These Forward-Deployed Naval Forces-Europe ships have the flexibility to operate throughout the waters of Europe and Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope to the Arctic Circle, demonstrating their mastery of the maritime domain.
U.S. Sixth 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 security interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.