Without any Norwegians participating, the group of one British and four U.S. warships sailed into the Barents Sea for “maritime security operations.” The U.S. Navy has not operated in the Barents Sea with surface vessels since the mid-1980’s. Russia’s Northern Fleet assets have begun tracking NATO’s surface action group.
The two hashtags #PowerForPeace and #OpenForBusiness are added to the tweet posted by the U.S. 6th Fleet as the navy group sailed north of North Cape eastbound into the Barents Sea Monday morning.
“In these challenging times, it is more important than ever that we maintain our steady drumbeat of operations across the European theater, while taking prudent measures to protect the health of our force,” said Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet in a statement.
“We remain committed to promoting regional security and stability, while building trust and reinforcing a foundation of Arctic readiness,” she added.
U.S. Navy surface ships have not operated in the Barents since the mid-1980’s, according to the statement.
On Friday, the navy ships conducted an anti-submarine exercise together with an American P8 maritime surveillance aircraft and a nuclear-powered submarine.
The May 1st exercise that took place in the northern part of the Norwegian Sea, in international waters west of Tromsø, happened without any Norwegians involved, the Joint Headquarters near Bodø told the Barents Observer.
During the weekend, one more U.S. destroyer, the “USS Roosevelt”, has joined the navy group that from before consisted of the two destroyers “USS Donald Cook” and “USS Porter” as well as the combat support ship “USNS Supply” and the British frigate “HMS Kent”.
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