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NEWS | June 11, 2021

USS Laboon Enters Black Sea in Support of NATO Allies and Partners

By By U.S. Sixth Fleet Public Affairs

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Laboon (DDG 58) entered the Black Sea on a routine patrol, June 11, 2021, while conducting multi-domain operations with a U.S. Navy P-8A aircraft from Patrol Squadron VP-40 and NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force E-3A Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS).

While in the Black Sea, Laboon will conduct maritime security operations alongside NATO Allies and partners in the region with a focus on enhancing maritime stability, combined readiness, and naval capability.  This is the fifth U.S. Navy ship to visit the Black Sea in 2021. In addition to U.S. Navy ship visits, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) Hamilton (WMSL 753) departed the Black Sea May 14 following operations with Black Sea partner navies and coast guards in support of maritime security and law.

“The men and women serving aboard USS Laboon look forward to sailing in the wake of the ships before us and continuing our nation’s commitment to security and stability in the Black Sea,” said Cmdr. Chuck Spivey, commanding officer of Laboon. “The Black Sea is a vital waterway and we are ready to work with our NATO Allies and partners in the region to enhance our collective readiness and to exchange best practices in regional maritime security.”

NATO Allied and partner nations stand together to ensure a safe, stable Black Sea region, building partner capacity to improve effectiveness and interoperability.

The ship’s operations in the Black Sea will strengthen interoperability with NATO allies and partners and demonstrate collective resolve to Black Sea security under Operation Atlantic Resolve.

“I’m excited to go into the Black Sea,” said Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Gabrielle Deem. “This is my third deployment while onboard Laboon and I’ve never had the opportunity to visit the Black Sea before.”

The Black Sea is a critical waterway for maritime commerce and stability throughout Europe. The U.S. Navy routinely operates in the Black Sea to work with our NATO Allies and partners, including Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Turkey, and Ukraine. It is in the world’s best interest to maintain a stable, prosperous Black Sea region and deter aggressive actors who seek destabilization for their own gain.

Laboon is 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 area of operations.

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.