Spain-based destroyer USS Ross concludes forward-deployed patrol

US Navy’s Spain-based Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) completed its sixth patrol in the US 6th Fleet area of operations, returning to its forward-deployed location at Naval Station Rota on May 7.

Ross departed Rota Jan. 8, 2018, and in the course of its four-month patrol visited several countries, participated in joint exercises and hosted many US and foreign diplomats in its mission to advance security and stability in the Europe and Africa regions.

“I couldn’t possibly be more proud of this crew,” said Cmdr. Bryan S. Gallo, commanding officer of Ross. “Over the course of these past four months, they’ve risen to the occaision and surpassed all expectations in the face of another arduous patrol.”

During Ross’ patrol, the ship visited several countries including Morocco, Italy, Albania, Romania, and the United Kingdom. In several of those countries, the Ross’ crew had the opportunity to provide the local public with tours of the 21-year-old warship.

From Feb. 16-28, Ross operated in the Black Sea consistent with the Montreux Convention and international law, completing several routine weapons exercises and conducting a ship tour for nearly 25 US Embassy, Bucharest personnel and Romanian citizens.

From March 26-April 12, Ross participated in Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST). FOST is based out of naval bases in the United Kingdom and delivers operational training across all disciplines for the Royal Navy and other navies that wish to make use of its services.

To wrap up Ross’ patrol, the ship participated in exercise Joint Warrior 18-1, a UK-led and designed multinational exercise which helps allies and partners improve interoperability and prepare forces for combined operations. This iteration of Joint Warrior saw participation from 15 countries including the US and UK.

“Joint Warrior was another excellent opportunity for Ross to work with our NATO allies and European partners to learn how to work together to continue our commitment to regional security as well as to degrade and disrupt terrorist organizations,” said Cmdr. David Coles, Ross’ executive officer. “The presence we provide day in and day out, especially during exercises like Joint Warrior, is the most visible symbol of U.S. reassurance to those NATO allies and partners that we will continue to provide deterrance against potential adversaries.”

Photo: US Navy photo of USS Ross during FOST training