NEWS | June 25, 2021

USS Laboon Concludes Black Sea Operations as USS Ross prepares to enter Black Sea for Exercise Sea Breeze 2021

By Commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet Public Affairs

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Laboon (DDG 58) conducted its regularly scheduled southbound international strait transit, concluding operations in the Black Sea, June 25, 2021.

USS Ross will conduct its northbound international strait transit June 26, 2021, to participate in the 21st iteration of Exercise Sea Breeze. The ship is underway from Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, Greece and is currently operating in the Mediterranean Sea.

Laboon entered the Black Sea June 11, 2021, to conduct presence operations with NATO Allies and partners in support of maritime security and stability in the region.

While in the Black Sea, the Laboon and its crew participated in a series of separate passing (PASSEX) and communication exercises with the British Royal Navy’s Daring-class air-defense destroyer HMS Defender (D 36), Royal Netherlands Navy’s De Zeven Provincien-class frigate HNLMS Evertsen (FF805), the Romanian Navy frigate ROS Marasesti (F 111), and the Turkish Navy’s Yavuz-class frigate TCG Yildirim (F 243). These maneuvers enhanced the tactical proficiency of all ships through precision ship handling and communication.

Laboon also stopped in Constanta, Romania, June 18-20, 2021, for a scheduled three-day port visit. These operations occurred in advance of USS Ross’ participation in Exercise Sea Breeze.

Kicking off June 28 and lasting through July 10, Exercise Sea Breeze will conduct its 21st iteration, the largest since its inception in 1997, with approximately 30 nations from six continents. The exercise will focus on multiple warfare areas including amphibious warfare, field operations, diving operations, maritime interdiction operations, air defense, special operations integration, anti-submarine warfare, and search and rescue operations. 

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.

The U.S. Navy routinely operates ships in the Black Sea consistent with the Montreux Convention and International Law.

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.