U.S., U.K. Ships Operate in the Barents Sea

Four U.S. Navy ships and a Royal Navy ship entered the Barents Sea, working together to conduct maritime security operations



By Lt. Lauren Spaziano U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. Sixth Fleet BARENTS SEA, At Sea May 04, 2020

Four U.S. Navy ships and a Royal Navy ship entered the Barents Sea, working together to conduct maritime security operations in the challenging environmental conditions above the Arctic Circle, May 4, 2020.

Three Arleigh Burke-class Aegis destroyers USS Donald Cook (DDG 75), USS Porter (DDG 78), USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) are supported by fast combat support ship USNS Supply (T-AOE 6), and joined by the Royal Navy’s HMS Kent (F 78) to assert freedom of navigation and demonstrate seamless integration among allies.

“In these challenging times, it is more important than ever that we maintain our steady drumbeat of operations across the European theater, while taking prudent measures to protect the health of our force,” said Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet. “We remain committed to promoting regional security and stability, while building trust and reinforcing a foundation of Arctic readiness.”

U.S. Navy surface ships have not operated in the Barents since the mid-1980’s. Allied and partner navies must remain proficient in all operating environments to ensure the continued security and access to the seas. This is especially critical in the Arctic, where the austere weather environment demands constant vigilance and practice.

The Russian Ministry of Defense was notified of the visit to the Barents Sea, May 1. The notification was made in an effort to avoid misperceptions, reduce risk, and prevent inadvertent escalation.

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