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USS Ross completes 11th patrol, returns to Naval Station Rota in Spain

By
Kyle Barnett
The USS Ross this week returned to Naval Station Rota in Spain this week after concluding its 11th patrol in the 6th Fleet area of responsibility. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy
The USS Ross this week returned to Naval Station Rota in Spain this week after concluding its 11th patrol in the 6th Fleet area of responsibility. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy

July 27 (UPI) -- The USS Ross has ended its 11th patrol in the 6th Fleet area of operations and has returned to port in Rota, Spain, the U.S. Navy announced on Tuesday.

With the port arrival on Monday, the ship ends a cruise that saw a series of naval operations spread throughout Europe end Africa.

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"Our Sailors have met every challenge to meet mission and successfully complete patrol," Cmdr. John D. John, commanding officer of Ross, said in a Navy press release. "I'm excited to get everyone home safe so we can reconnect with our loved ones."

The patrol began with the British-led Fleet Operational Sea Training this spring. The vessel's voyage then took it to the North Sea for an exercise displaying the vessel's missile blocking system.

The vessel also took part in the African Lion exercise outside Morocco and stopped over in Souda Bay, Greece, for the crew's first "liberty port" since the COIVD-19 pandemic began.

In late June, the USS Ross took part in the 12-day Sea Breeze 2021 exercise in the Black Sea, which involved 32 NATO nations.

The USS Ross also stopped in Ukraine where it hosted Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenksy.

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"It was an honor to pipe the president of Ukraine on board," Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Sean Van Horn, who was part of the receiving line, said in a Navy press release. "It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I am privileged to have done it."

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