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US destroyer enters Black Sea for seventh navy tour in the region in 2020

US destroyer Donald Cook
US Navy fie photo of USS Donald Cook in the Black Sea.

US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) transited into the Black Sea on November 23, marking the seventh time a US Navy ship has visited the Black Sea since the beginning of 2020.

The last ship to visit the region was USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) in September. While in the Black Sea, Donald Cook will conduct routine maritime security operations that support regional stability. Worth noting is that there are currently no other ships operating as part of NATO Standing Maritime Groups in the Black Sea, which means that the destroyer would focus on the cooperation with Black Sea states.

“Operating in the Black Sea signifies our commitment to partners and allies in the region,” said Cmdr. Kelley Jones, commanding officer of Donald Cook. “It is an important diplomatic mission, and Donald Cook has enjoyed the hospitality of Black Sea countries many times before.”

The US Navy routinely operates in the Black Sea under the Montreux Convention to work with NATO allies in the region, including Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Turkey, and Ukraine.

Donald Cook recently began its 11th patrol of the US Sixth Fleet area of responsibility in support of US national security interests in Europe and Africa. It is one of four US Navy destroyers based in Rota, Spain, and assigned to Commander, Task Force 65 in support of NATO’s Integrated Air Missile Defense architecture. These Forward-Deployed Naval Forces-Europe ships have the flexibility to operate throughout the waters of Europe and Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope to the Arctic Circle, demonstrating their mastery of the maritime domain.