Oct. 21 (UPI) — The USS Ross deployed to the Barents Sea in the Arctic Ocean, the U.S. Navy 6th Fleet said, the third time this year that Navy destroyers operated in the area.
The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, which carries Tomahawk and Harpoon missiles, began its 10th Forward Deployed Naval Forces-Europe deployment in the Barents Sea, north of Norway and Russia, on Tuesday, the Navy said.
The Ross’ return to the Arctic is its second time this year operating in the Barents Sea, after integration exercises in September, known as Exercise Joint Warrior, with British and Norwegian ships.
“This Barents Sea mission marks a significant milestone, clearly demonstrating our dynamic ability to operate anywhere in the world,” Cmdr. John D. John, Ross’ commanding officer, said in a statement on Tuesday. “These operations demonstrate the commitment of our crew to transatlantic stability and security.”
With the coming of global warming, the military and commercial advantages of the Arctic Ocean have increased significance, officials have noted.
As a result, U.S. military ships and planes have renewed a presence in the Arctic Ocean not seen since the end of the Cold War.
“The United States is an Arctic nation and has enduring security interests in the region. We work with our Allies and partners to ensure an open Arctic by continuing to conduct land, air, and sea operations required for deterrence, presence, and security,” the 6th Fleet statement said.