First US Navy’s Aegis Destroyer Docks in Spain
The first of four US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, USS Donald Cook (DDG 75), arrived on Tuesday, 11 February 2014 at Naval Station Rota, Spain, which will be its new permanent homeport. With the arrival, the destroyer kick started her forward deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.
Three more ships of the class, USS Ross (DDG 71), USS Porter (DDG 78) and USS Carney (DDG 64), will join Donald Cook over the next two years. The first to follow will be Ross, which is scheduled to deploy to Rota later this year, with Carney and Porter arriving sometime in 2015.
While in U.S. 6th Fleet, these ships will form a centerpiece of NATO’s Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) and perform numerous missions, such as missile defence tasks, maritime security operations, training exercises, and NATO operations and deployments, including participation in the Standing NATO Maritime Groups.
“For the first time, a ship of the United States Navy equipped with the AEGIS ballistic missile-defence system is permanently based in Europe,” said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. “The arrival of the USS Donald Cook marks a step forward for NATO, for European security, and for transatlantic cooperation.”
By hosting these ships, Spain is making a vital contribution to NATO Missile Defence, enhancing the security of Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Atlantic Ocean, while shortening the response time for U.S. ships.
“Security and stability require the efforts of all nations,” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. “To ensure that security and stability, our European and American naval forces must be there. These destroyers will help ensure we are here with our friends and allies when it counts, not just in the right place at the right time, but all the time.”
USS Donald Cook departed her homeport of Norfolk, Va. Jan. 31 on her way to Rota, Spain.
|USS DONALD COOK SPECIFICATIONS|
|Displacement||Light: approx. 6,765 tons
Full: approx. 8,900 tons
|Range||4,400 nm at 20 knots|
Naval Today Staff, February 12, 2014; Image: US Navy