U.S. and Ukrainian Navies Operate in the Black Sea
(Source: U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa; issued Sept. 29, 2020)
BLACK SEA --- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), conducted joint operations with Ukrainian Naval Forces in the Black Sea, Sept. 29, 2020.

Off the coast of Ukraine, in the Black Sea, Roosevelt, along with its embarked MH-60R helicopter, operated with three Ukrainian Navy vessels; the Gurza-M-class UKRS Kastopol (P 180), and UKRS Nikopol (P 176), and the Island-class patrol boat UKRS Starobilsk (P 191), as well as a Ukrainian Navy Mil MI-14 helicopter.

The passing exercise served as an opportunity for the U.S. and Ukrainian naval forces to refine ship handling and maneuvering capabilities. U.S. Navy vessels routinely conduct training with NATO Allies and partners in order to enhance collaboration and increase capacity in order to strengthen the regional maritime security.

“Conducting exercises with our Ukrainian NATO partners demonstrates the combined strength and capacity that is always resident when our two nation’s navies come together. The U.S. – Ukraine partnership that has existed for decades has never been stronger,” said Cmdr. Ryan Kendall, Roosevelt's commanding officer. “The Ukrainian Navy is a professional organization with a lot of capability and skill sets that challenge my team to operate at our peak proficiency, it was a true pleasure working with their naval team in the Black Sea.”

The Black Sea is a critical waterway for maritime commerce and stability throughout Europe. The U.S. Navy routinely operates in the Black Sea to work with our NATO Allies and partners, including Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Turkey, and Ukraine. It is in the world’s best interest to maintain a stable, prosperous Black Sea region and deter aggressive actors who seek destabilization for their own gain.

The ship’s operations in the Black Sea strengthens interoperability among NATO allies and partners and demonstrate collective resolve to Black Sea security under Operation Atlantic Resolve.

“It is encouraging to see these ships from the U.S. and Ukrainian navies operate together in the Black Sea, side-by-side,” said Rear Adm. Michael Baze, Director, Maritime Headquarters, U.S. 6th Fleet. “It is a true illustration of our bilateral partnership and it also highlights the need to continue to work with our allies and partners in the region to keep the Black Sea safe, free, and open for all the nations of the world.”

This is the sixth time a U.S. Navy ship has visited the Black Sea in 2020. The last ship to visit was USS Porter (DDG 78) in July during exercise Sea Breeze 2020. Roosevelt is focused on enhancing regional maritime stability, combined readiness, and naval capability.

Joint training operations provide vital readiness opportunities for U.S. military forces and demonstrate our capability to integrate platforms across multiple domains with our NATO Allies and partners in the Black Sea region.

The U.S. Navy routinely operates in the Black Sea consistent with international law, including the Montreux Convention.

U.S. Sixth Fleet has provided over $40 million via Section 333 funding to establish Ukraine’s baseline Maritime Domain Awareness capability in the development, integration, and linkage of permanently-based and mobile coastal radar sites. These bases and sites are regularly working together with ships like USS Roosevelt to help Ukraine maintain situational awareness of its territorial waters.

Roosevelt, stationed in Rota, Spain, is conducting its first forward-deployed naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national and NATO security interests in Europe and Africa.

Four U.S. Navy destroyers, including Roosevelt are 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.

U.S. Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with joint, allied, and interagency partners in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.

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