US destroyers continue Black Sea patrol after Bulgaria, Romania visits
US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Carney (DDG 64) and USS Ross (DDG 71) are underway in the Black Sea again after completing port calls in Varna, Bulgaria, and Constanta, Romania, respectively.
The two destroyers entered the Black Sea transiting the Bosphorus two days apart on February 17 and 18.
According to the Montreux Convention, the destroyers will be able to spend a maximum of 21 days on patrol in the Black Sea before they are required to exit the Black Sea.
USS Carney (DDG 64) departed Varna, Bulgaria, Feb. 22, after a scheduled four-day port visit.
The visit included relations projects and exchanges with the Bulgarian Navy. Members of Carney’s crew also visited the Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy, where they conducted bilateral ship exercises with sailors from the Bulgarian navy using ship simulators.
USS Ross got underway from Romania on February 21.
Commenting earlier on the presence of two destroyers in the Black Sea, the US 6th Fleet commander, said the decision to have destroyers operate in the Black Sea was “proactive, not reactive.”
“We operate at the tempo and timing of our choosing in this strategically important region. By nature, ships are flexible, mobile forces, and the Navy is uniquely capable of providing credible and capable forces to defend our nation’s interests throughout the world,” Vice Adm. Grady said.
The US Navy said the naval activities would be conducted in accordance with international law, including the 1936 Montreux Convention which regulates maritime traffic through the Dardanelles and Bosphorus international straits.
The last time two US ships operated in the Black Sea was July 2017, during US-Ukraine co-hosted exercise Sea Breeze. US 6th Fleet ships regularly conduct bilateral and multilateral patrols with our Black Sea partners and allies, including Bulgaria and Turkey, and to conduct exercises with other partners and allies.