Spain-based USS Donald Cook concludes forward-deployed patrol

US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) wrapped up its sixth forward-deployed naval forces patrol, returning to Naval Station Rota on November 17.

While on patrol, Donald Cook participated in exercises Saxon Warrior 2017, Joint Warrior 2017, Formidable Shield 2017 and Dogu Akdeniz 2017 to further stability and security in the region.

“It has been a very exciting patrol for me,” said Cmdr. Matt Powel, commanding officer of the Donald Cook. “The crew performed outstandingly over the last four months. I am amazed and humbled by their professionalism and resiliency.”

Multinational exercises like the ones that Donald Cook participated in help demonstrate the commitment to regional stability and maritime security shared by the United States, its allies and partners.

“Whether operating in the Atlantic or the Mediterranean, we performed at the highest level,” said Cmdr. Kelley Jones, executive officer of Donald Cook. “The culmination of the patrol has taken us all over U.S. 6th Fleet’s area of operation. Excitingly, we have worked hand in hand through many exercises with some of the finest navies in the world. Our experience encompassed working closely with both the British and the Turkish navies; we always did the job and did it well.”

Among those experiences were firing an SM-3 interception missile during Formidable Shield, honing antisubmarine tactics with Turkish units and, Jones said, “having the awesome opportunity working with the Queen Elizabeth off the coast of England.”

Jones said she is now looking forward to preparing for the ship’s next inspection and then getting ready for its next patrol.