By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Trey Fowler
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) entered the Black Sea to participate in the 21st iteration of Exercise Sea Breeze 2021 (SB21), June 26, 2021.
Ross will join 31 other ships in the Black Sea to participate in the maritime portion of SB21. The exercise scenario designed to bring together military forces from North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia to test multiple warfare disciplines in the sea, on land, and up in the air, including surface warfare, land operations, anti-submarine warfare, air defense, and explosive ordnance disposal techniques.
“The USS Ross' participation in this year's Sea Breeze maritime exercise is a tangible demonstration of U.S. support for Ukraine and is necessary now more than ever,” said Chargé d'affaires Kristina Kvien, U.S. Embassy in Ukraine. “It is part of the enduring commitment that the United States and our NATO Allied and partner nations have made since 1997 to enhance maritime security in the Black Sea.”
This exercise is a previously planned annual exercise. 2021 will mark the 21st iteration of exercise Sea Breeze. The continuation of this exercise program is a visible demonstration of our enduring commitment to work closely with our NATO Allied and partner nations to enhance maritime security in the Black Sea.
The U.S. stands together with our NATO allies and partners to maintain a safe, secure and prosperous European region and global security environment.
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 Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Turkey, and Ukraine and other NATO Allies and partners. It is in the world best interest to maintain a stable, prosperous Black Sea region and deter aggressive actors who seek destabilization for their own gain.
Exercise Sea Breeze is a multinational maritime exercise cohosted by U.S. Sixth Fleet and the Ukrainian Navy in the Black Sea since 1997. Sea Breeze 2021 is designed to enhance interoperability of participating nations and strengthen maritime security and peace within the region.
Ross, forward-deployed at Naval Station Rota, Spain, is conducting naval operations in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe. The U.S. Navy routinely operates in the Black Sea consistent with international law, including the Montreux Convention.
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.
Patrol Squadron (VP) 46 belongs to Task Force 67 which is composed of land-based maritime patrol aircraft that operate over the waters of the Mediterranean in anti-submarine, reconnaissance, surveillance, and mining roles. Task Force 67′s official mission is to provide responsive, interoperable, and expeditionary combat ready maritime patrol aircraft and supporting forces to U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa and U.S. Sixth Fleet.
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