By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Christine Montgomery
The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) completed a multi-warfare exercise with Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG-1), Dec. 9.
Ross conducted a series of air defense exercises and tactical passing maneuvers with Portuguese Vasco da Gama-class frigate NPR Corte-Real (F332), Canadian Halifax-class frigate HMCS Toronto (FFH 333), six French Dassault Rafales aircraft, and a French E-2C Hawkeye.
“Training with our NATO Allies provides us with unique opportunities where our Sailors can put their skills to the test in a dynamic environment,” said Cmdr. John D. John, commanding officer of Ross. “Exercises like these are extremely important to maintaining our collective warfighting readiness and allowing Ross to remain a strong maritime presence committed to regional stability wherever the mission takes us.”
This marks the second time during Ross’s 10th Forward-Deployed Naval Forces patrol that Ross has participated in training exercises with a SNMG response group.
SNGM-1 is a multinational, integrated force under the control of NATO Allied Maritime Command that responds to Allied Command Operations.
Ross conducted operations in the Baltic Sea with German and Italian Eurofighter F2000 aircraft provided from NATO in November. Prior to operations in the Baltic, Ross conducted sustained operations in the Barents Sea with logistical support from the Henry J. Kaiser-class replenishment oiler USNS Laramie (T-AO-203), marking the third time this year a U.S. destroyer has operated in the region.
Ross, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, operates in support of U.S. national security interests in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations.
Four U.S. Navy destroyers are 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 a 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 stability in Europe and Africa.