US destroyer ventures above Arctic Circle to monitor Russian Navy

US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) recently concluded operations above the Arctic Circle while monitoring Russian maritime activity on Oct. 16.

Photo: US Navy

The service said the ship’s presence in the Arctic Circle reinforced the United States’ commitment to regional security and stability, as well as the Navy’s ability to deploy to many different environments on short notice.

“This patrol has brought Donald Cook from Haifa, Israel, to the Arctic Circle,” said Cmdr. Kelley T. Jones, commanding officer of the ship. “Without our crew it wouldn’t be possible. A little cold and some rough seas won’t keep us from completing the mission.”

USS Normandy (CG 60) and USS Farragut (DDG 99) also operated above the Arctic Circle in September 2019.

Sailors who cross into the Arctic Circle are given the unique opportunity to participate in a line-crossing ceremony and be inducted into the “Order of the Blue Nose.”

“This is a rare opportunity for most sailors,” said Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Jose Barrientos, who was already a Blue Nose. “I [was inducted into the Order] on USS Ross (DDG 71) while I was deployed with them. It was extremely cold, but coming up to the forecastle of that ship and requesting to become a Blue Nose is a memory forever ingrained in my head. I couldn’t wait to help my new crew aboard Donald Cook become Blue Noses.”

Donald Cook, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is on its ninth patrol in the US 6th Fleet area of operations in support of US national security interests in Europe.