Feb. 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy announced last week that it will increase its presence in the Black Sea with two guided-missile Destroyers to conduct maritime security operations.
The Navy now has the USS Carney and the USS Ross in the Black Sea, which is located between several countries, including Russia, Ukraine and Turkey.
"Our decision to have two ships simultaneously operate in the Black Sea is proactive, not reactive," said Vice Adm. Christopher Grady, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, in a statement. "We operate at the tempo and timing of our choosing in this strategically important region. By nature, ships are flexible, mobile forces, and the Navy is uniquely capable of providing credible and capable forces to defend our nation's interests throughout the world."
CNN reported that an unnamed military official said the U.S. Navy's effort in the Black Sea was to "desensitize Russia" to the U.S. military's presence there.
On Sunday, just two days after the U.S. Navy's announcement, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced it sent two patrol ships into the Black Sea for military exercises.
The U.S. Navy had two ships in the Black Seain July 2017 when it conducted military exercises with Ukraine.
"The continued presence of the U.S. Navy in the Black Sea demonstrates our enduring commitment to regional stability, maritime security of our Black Sea partners, and the collective defense of our NATO allies," Grady said.