The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) began its south-bound transit from the Black Sea en route to the Mediterranean Sea on March 3, after conducting maritime security operations intended to enhance regional maritime stability, combined readiness, and naval capability with our NATO allies and partners in the region, the U.S. announced on 3rd March.
This was the first time a U.S. Navy ship has visited the Black Sea in 2020. Ross was also the last ship to visit the Black Sea in 2019, marking the 8th visit by a U.S Navy ship last year.
Prior to entering the Black Sea, Ross operated with the French aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle (R 91) as part of Combined Task Force 473 in the Mediterranean during FOCH, a major French naval deployment. While in the Black Sea, Ross conducted several multinational exercises with local partners, to include Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria, enhancing interoperability through tactical training events.
Ross visited Varna, Bulgaria, for a two day port visit. In Varna, the ship hosted various Bulgarian media representatives for tours and a press event, and John met with the city mayor and the Bulgarian chief of naval operations.
The ship’s operations in the Black Sea strengthen interoperability with NATO allies and partners and demonstrate collective resolve to security under Operation Atlantic Resolve.
Ross, forward-deployed at Naval Station Rota, Spain, is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe on a routine patrol. The U.S. Navy routinely operates in the Black Sea consistent with international law, including the Montreux Convention.