Spain-based Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) transited the Bosphorus and Dardanelles Straits on February 23, becoming the first US Navy ship to enter the Black Sea since the beginning of 2020.
Ross was also the last ship in the Black Sea in 2019, marking the 8th by a US Navy ship last year.
During its time in the region, the ship will carry out maritime security operations and take part in exercises with NATO allies and partners. Under the Montreaux Convention, which governs the transit of naval warships through the straits, Ross is allowed to spend a maximum of twenty-one days in the Black Sea.
Ross made the transit after working together with the French aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle (R 91) and as part of Combined Task Force 473 in the Mediterranean during FOCH, a major French Navy deployment. Ross provided defensive capabilities for the strike group. In addition to the Ross, this French led deployment brought together forces from Greece, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain, providing a training opportunity for all participants to improve combat readiness.
USS Ross is one of four destroyers in its class forward-deployed at Naval Station Rota, Spain. The other three include USS Porter (DDG 78), USS Carney (DDG 64), and USS Donald Cook (DDG 75). By 2022, all four are scheduled to be replaced with more capable Arleigh Burke’s that feature the upgraded Aegis Baseline 9 combat system, which includes Integrated Air and Missile Defense capability.