TROMSØ, Norway --- U.S. ships operating in the High North have received steadfast support from Norway, ensuring successful sustained operations in the region.
Tromsø serves as a refueling and resupply port for U.S. vessels operating in the North Sea.
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) successfully completed its fourth brief stop for fuel and a brief stop for weather in Tromsø, Norway, and completed a 50-day patrol in the High North, Aug. 17, 2020.
“Norway's support illustrates how much we depend on our NATO allies to conduct at-sea operations throughout the European theater,” said Capt. Joseph Gagliano, commander, Task Force (CTF) 65. “Roosevelt's presence in the Norwegian Sea demonstrates our commitment to their security, and Tromsø's support to Roosevelt demonstrates Norway's commitment to us.”
In addition to the U.S. surface assets operating in the High North with the assistance of allies like Norway, submarines conduct operations throughout the region, and P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft routinely operate out of Iceland. These combined operations create a holistic scope of sustained U.S. operations in the High North.
Roosevelt recently executed multiple passing exercises with Norwegian Royal Navy counterparts in the Norwegian Sea to include the Skjold-class corvettes HNoMS Storm (P961) and HNoMS Gnist (P965). The destroyer also joined naval forces from Canada, France, Germany, Norway, and the United Kingdom in July to participate in NATO Allied Maritime Command-led anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercise Dynamic Mongoose 2020, which enhanced ASW capabilities and increased theater ASW capacity among the participating navies through use of real-world training.
“These achievements would not have been possible without the steadfast support of our regional NATO allies and partners,” said Cmdr. Ryan R. Kendall, commanding officer of Roosevelt. “We honed our ship handling abilities during replenishments-at-sea with the [British Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship] RFA Tideforce, experienced incredible hospitality during brief stops for fuel in Tromsø, Norway, and increased interoperability with a host of partner nations during our time in the High North. Each of these interactions has furthered our professional relationships and warfighting prowess as a NATO Alliance."
The destroyer also executed several operational missions during its time in the Arctic, which highlighted the crew’s progress in training in communications, tactics, and command and control.
"Roosevelt has executed a robust and detailed schedule in the High North, marking a number of significant milestones for our ship and the Surface Navy,” said Kendall.
Sailors assigned to Roosevelt during this period were awarded the Naval Arctic Service Ribbon, which is presented to Navy personnel who perform 28 days of service (consecutive or non-consecutive) above the Arctic Circle.
“This ribbon symbolizes Roosevelt’s exceptional maritime operations in the High North and a sustained U.S. naval presence in Arctic waters,” said Kendall.
Roosevelt’s position in the waters of the High North also allowed the crew to become “Blue Noses” during a rare Navy rite of passage. A Sailor earns the title of “Blue Nose” and is initiated into the “Royal Order of the Blue Nose” by completing a special ceremony upon crossing into the Arctic Circle.
Roosevelt, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.