US Navy Arleigh Burke-class Guided-missile Destroyer USS Ross
US Navy Arleigh Burke-class Guided-missile Destroyer USS Ross

US Navy Arleigh Burke-class Guided-missile Destroyer USS Ross Enters Black Sea for Exercise Sea Breeze

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.

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.

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 The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) transits the Strait of Gibraltar, June 19, 2021.
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) transits the Strait of Gibraltar, June 19, 2021. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Claire DuBois/Released)

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.

USS Ross (DDG-71) is an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer in the United States Navy. She is the second Navy ship to be named Ross, the first Navy ship named for Medal of Honor recipient Donald K. Ross and the 21st destroyer of her class. The first Ross, DD-563, was named for David Ross, a captain in the Continental Navy. Ross was the 10th ship of her class to be built at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi. She was laid down on 10 April 1995; launched on 22 March 1996; sponsored by Mrs. Helen L. Ross, widow of the late Captain Ross; and commissioned on 28 June 1997, at Galveston, Texas, Commander Jeffrey R. Ginnow in command.

Fire Controlman (Aegis) 2nd Class Emilio Orozco-Murcia stands watch aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) in Odesa, Ukraine for participation in Exercise Sea Breeze 2021, June 27, 2021.
Fire Controlman (Aegis) 2nd Class Emilio Orozco-Murcia stands watch aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) in Odesa, Ukraine for participation in Exercise Sea Breeze 2021, June 27, 2021.(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Damon Grosvenor/Released)

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.

US Navy Arleigh Burke-class Guided-missile Destroyer USS Ross
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) is moored during a port visit to Odesa, Ukraine for Exercise Sea Breeze, June 28, 2021. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jack D. Aistrup/Released)
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