The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) and Military Sealift Command (MSC) Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport USNS Yuma (T-EPF 8) began their regularly scheduled southbound transit from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea after concluding maritime operations and exercises alongside NATO Allies and partners, July 16, 2021, the U.S. Navy 6th Fleet announced.
Ross entered the Black Sea, June 26, to participate in the 21st iteration of the U.S. and Ukrainian-led exercise Sea Breeze and departed following its participation in the 25th iteration of the Bulgarian-led, multinational exercise Breeze.
Both exercises are designed to enhance participants’ interoperability and strengthen maritime security within the region.
During Exercise Sea Breeze, Ross, along with ships from the Ukraine, Bulgaria, Georgia, Italy, Romania, Turkey, and the United Kingdom sailed together to work on force integration and maritime maneuvering exercises.
“By participating in Exercises Sea Breeze and Breeze, we were able to demonstrate our shared commitment to security in the Black Sea region alongside our NATO Allies and partners,” said Cmdr. John D. John, commanding officer of Ross. “As we head back through the Mediterranean Sea, we can take pride in the fact that we significantly enhanced peace and security through cooperation, collaboration, and interoperability during our time in the Black Sea.”
On July 8, USNS Yuma entered the Black Sea for routine maritime operations in the region alongside Allies and partners. While in the Black Sea, Yuma conducted a brief stop in Batumi, Georgia, to strengthen bonds between the two countries and increase the network of Ally and partner operational support in the Black Sea.
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