Ships from Norway, the U.S. and U.K. entered the Barents Sea on 7th September working together to conduct maritime security operations in the challenging environment above the Arctic Circle, U.S. Navy 6th Fleet announced.
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), demonstrating seamless integration among allies.
“Our maritime advantage continues to be our strong, cohesive partnerships,” said Vice Adm. Gene Black, commander, U.S. 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.”
U.S. Sixth Fleet routinely conducts operations in the High North with allies and partners to ensure the region remains stable and free of conflict. Allied and partner navies must remain proficient in all operating environments to ensure continued, collective security and access to the seas. This is especially critical in the Arctic, where the austere weather environment demands constant vigilance and practice.
Ships from the U.K. and U.S. operated 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 U.S. 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.