UK Leads U.S. and Norwegian Ships to Train in Barents Sea

 In Europe, UK, USA, Air, Forces & Capabilities, Environment, Norway

Ships from Norway, the U.S. and U.K. entered the Barents Sea Sept. 7, 2020, work­ing togeth­er to con­duct mar­itime secu­ri­ty oper­a­tions in the chal­leng­ing envi­ron­ment above the Arctic Circle.

​​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.

​​“This oppor­tu­ni­ty to train with Norway and the U.K. is invalu­able to the crew,” said Ross’ com­mand­ing offi­cer, Cmdr. John D. John. “Our Sailors have been work­ing with their coun­ter­parts on other ships to gain pro­fi­cien­cy in maneu­vers at-sea, air oper­a­tions, tac­tics, and com­mu­ni­ca­tions and we look for­ward to car­ry­ing this over to our other oper­a­tions through­out the region.”

​​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.

​​“The real­is­tic and rel­e­vant train­ing we are con­duct­ing here in the Barents cannot be repli­cat­ed any­where else,” John added. “This proves we can oper­ate any­where in the region with our allies.”

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