The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) transited the Bosphorus Strait departing the Black Sea, Sept. 12, after conducting a series of engagements designed to promote peace and stability in the region.
Ross’ presence in the Black Sea served to demonstrate the United States’ commitment to strengthening the collective security of NATO allies and regional partners while also working alongside them to enhance interoperability and improve regional security.
Ross joined several Black Sea nations to participate in Sea Breeze 2014. Now in its 13th iteration, this multinational maritime exercise involved naval forces from Ukraine, Georgia, Romania, Turkey, Latvia and the U.S., as well as ships from Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 Task Unit 02.
“I believe exercise Sea Breeze will be the next step in increasing stability, building relationships and understanding with all of the participating nations and will be the hope for the future,” Vice Adm. Serhiy Hayduk, commander in chief Ukrainian navy, said during the opening ceremony aboard Ross.
The goal of the exercise was to have participating nations work together in order to strengthen interoperability. Focus was on maritime interdiction operations as a primary means to enhance maritime security. Other key components of the exercise focused on communications, search and rescue, force protection and navigation.
This is the ship’s first patrol since being forward deployed to Naval Station Rota, Spain.