MONS, Belgium – Four U.S. Navy ships and a Royal Navy ship entered the Barents Sea, working together to conduct maritime security operations in the challenging environmental conditions above the Arctic Circle on Monday, May 4, 2020.
Three Arleigh Burke-class Aegis destroyers USS Donald Cook (DDG 75), USS Porter (DDG 78), USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) are supported by fast combat support ship USNS Supply (T-AOE 6), and joined by the Royal Navy's HMS Kent (F 78) to assert freedom of navigation and demonstrate seamless integration and interoperability among allies.
We remain committed to promoting regional security and stability
"We are working with our partners to enhance our combined capabilities as we conduct maritime security operations and training in the Arctic region," said Vice Admiral Lisa Franchetti, Commander U.S. 6th Fleet. "We remain committed to promoting regional security and stability, while building trust and reinforcing a foundation of Arctic readiness."
The Duke-class frigate HMS Kent (F78) takes part in a replenishment-at-sea with Supply-class fast combat support ship USNS Supply (T-AOE-6) whilst on exercise with the U.S. Navy in the Arctic Circle. The exercises have been taking place in the Arctic Circle where, with added wind chill, the temperatures plummeted to a jarring minus 10 degrees centigrade. HMS Kent has been conducting maritime patrol duties in and around the U.K. before she met with the U.S. task group and will continue the exercises with her closet allies before she will return to her home port to 'thaw out' and have essential maintenance carried out. © Crown copyright 2020
Allied and partner navies must remain proficient in all operating environments to ensure the continued security and access to the seas. This is especially critical in the Arctic, where the austere weather environment demands constant vigilance and practice.
Five NATO Allies are Arctic countries, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and the United States, and the Alliance has a clear interest in seeing stability, security and cooperation in the Arctic region.