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By USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Public Affairs
The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), along with a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft from Commander, Task Force (CTF) 67 began evolutions with Allies and partners as part of the Romanian-led exercise Sea Shield 2021, in the Black Sea, March 19, 2021.
“Exercises like this allow us to operate with our NATO Allies and partner nations for combat readiness and refine integration,” said Rear Adm. Scott Robertson, Commander, Carrier Strike Group Two. “We look forward to opportunities such as this which promote peace and security through collaboration in order to maintain a stable and prosperous Black Sea region.”
Sea Shield 2021 is an annual Romanian-led multinational naval exercise in the Black Sea focused on enhancing interoperability between U.S. and participating nations, emphasizing anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, anti-air warfare, and mine countermeasures mission sets.
“Our ships are capable of conducting operations across multiple warfare areas and are ready to deploy anytime, and anywhere needed,” said Capt. Joseph A. Baggett, Commanding Officer, USS MONTEREY (CG 61). “We are excited to take our combat capability into the area and work alongside our NATO partners to fulfill operational commitments and ensure mission success in this dynamic and challenging environment.”
Maritime forces from Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and Ukraine are scheduled to participate in Sea Shield 2021.
U.S. participation in Sea Shield 2021 demonstrates our commitment to deploying leading technology and combat capability in support of our Allies and partners in the Black Sea region.
USS Monterey and USS Thomas Hudner are deployed as part of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (IKECSG), supporting national security interests in Europe and increasing theater cooperation and forward naval presence in the U.S. Sixth Fleet (SIXTHFLT) area of operations.
Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group is a multiplatform team of ships, aircraft and more than 5,000 Sailors, capable of carrying out a wide variety of missions around the globe. The Navy provides a ready, flexible force capable of responding to a broad range of contingencies.
Deploying ships and aircraft of the strike group, commanded by Rear Adm. Scott Robertson, include flagship USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69); the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61); Destroyer Squadron 22 ships include Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Mitscher (DDG 57), USS Laboon (DDG 58), USS Mahan (DDG 72), and USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116).
Squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3, embarked on Eisenhower include the "Fighting Swordsmen" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 32, "Gunslingers" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 105, "Wildcats" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131, "Rampagers" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 83; "Dusty Dogs" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 7; "Swamp Foxes" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 74; "Screwtops" of Airborne Command and Control Squadron (VAW) 123; "Zappers" of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 130, and a detachment from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 "Rawhides."
CTF-67 is based out of Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella, Italy, and provides responsive, interoperable, and expeditionary combat ready maritime patrol aircraft and supporting forces to SIXTHFLT and NATO.
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 interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.
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