US destroyer Ross stops in Bulgaria on first Black Sea port visit

USS Ross (DDG 71) arrives at Varna, Bulgaria, April 15, 2019. Photo: US Navy

US Navy’s guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) arrived in Varna, Bulgaria, April 15 for the first port visit of its Black Sea tour.

The ship transited the Bosphorus Strait to enter the Black Sea on April 14.

The navy did not say how long the destroyer would stay in the region but the 1936 Montreux Convention, which regulates the transit of warships in the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits, will allow Echo to stay in the Black Sea for a maximum of 21 days.

While in port, the ship hosted officials from the Bulgarian Navy and local Varna government ahead of bilateral naval exercises.

“US 6th Fleet assets routinely operate in the Black Sea, and Ross is part of our long-standing effort to exercise and engage in the region,” said Vice Adm. Lisa M. Franchetti, commander, US 6th Fleet. “Having the opportunity to conduct training alongside our NATO allies and partners enhances our ability to work together at sea across the full spectrum of maritime operations.”

Ross is the fourth US naval vessel to operate in the Black Sea in 2019.

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