Home Europe US, Norwegian, Royal Navy enter Barents Sea for Arctic operations

US, Norwegian, Royal Navy enter Barents Sea for Arctic operations

Arctic operations
US destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) conducts a refueling at sea with Royal Fleet Auxiliary RFA Tidespring (A136) in Norwegian Sea. Photo: US Navy

Ships from Norway, the US and UK entered the Barents Sea on September 7 where they will carry out maritime security operations in the challenging environment above the Arctic Circle.

​​Royal Navy frigate HMS Sutherland (F81), leading the surface action group as the commanding ship, is joined by Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71), British Royal Fleet Auxiliary RFA Tidespring (A136), and Royal Norwegian frigate HNoMS Thor Heyerdahl (F314). The group will be supported by Danish patrol aircraft.

​​“Our maritime advantage continues to be our strong, cohesive partnerships,” said Vice Adm. Gene Black, commander, US Sixth Fleet. “Our forces are able to conduct sustained operations in the vital waterways in the Arctic because of the support and cooperation of our international partners, allowing us to be present together where and when it matters.”

This is the second time ships from the UK and US are operating together in the Barents Sea. In May of this year, three Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Donald Cook (DDG 75), USS Porter (DDG 78), USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), supported by the fast combat support ship USNS Supply (T-AOE 6), were joined by the Royal Navy’s HMS Kent (F 78) operating above the Arctic Circle.

​​Other recent US Navy operations in the High North include USS Roosevelt’s (DDG 80) 50-day patrol to the region, which concluded Aug. 27. While on patrol, the ship executed multiple passing exercises with Royal Norwegian Navy counterparts and joined five other countries to participate in NATO Allied Maritime Command-led anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercise Dynamic Mongoose 2020.