ODESSA, Ukraine (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) arrived in Odessa, Ukraine, Dec. 24 for a scheduled port visit as part of its continued Black Sea presence and support to regional partners.
While in port, Ross crewmembers explored the Odessa city center, including the Odessa Opera House, Catacombs, and Yarmarka Christmas Market, as well as enjoy the local Ukrainian cuisine.
The last ship to visit the Black Sea was USS Porter (DDG 78) in October. While in the Black Sea, the ship also conducted scheduled port visits to Odessa, Ukraine, and Batumi, Georgia, to strengthen U.S. relations with both nations.
Porter also visited the Black Sea in August to conduct scheduled port visits to Constanta, Romania; Varna, Bulgaria; and Golcuk, Turkey. In July, USS Carney (DDG 64) participated in exercise Sea Breeze 2019 and conducted maritime interoperability training with Standing NATO Maritime Group Two.
In April, USS Ross (DDG 71) conducted maritime training with Bulgaria and Georgia and a replenishment-at-sea with Turkey. In February, USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) conducted maritime interoperability training with the Turkish Yavuz-class frigate TS Fatih (F 242) and conducted a port visit to Odessa, Ukraine. In January, Donald Cook and USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) conducted port visits to Georgia and Romania, respectively.
“Team Ross has been looking forward to visiting Odessa for a long time” said Cmdr. Scott Jones, executive officer of Ross. “Especially during the holiday season, we can’t wait to explore this beautiful city and meet the wonderful people who make it great.”
The U.S. Navy routinely operates in the Black Sea consistent with international law, including the Montreux Convention.