NORFOLK -- USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) departed her homeport of Norfolk, Va. Jan. 31 on her way to Rota, Spain, as the first of four Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers to be stationed there.
"The U.S. has a historically strong partnership with Spain, and the strength of that relationship is exemplified today as the first of four U.S. Navy destroyers departs for Rota, Spain," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. "Permanently forward deploying four ships in Rota will enable us to be in the right place, not just at the right time, but all the time."
In 2012, Mabus announced the BMD-capable destroyers Donald Cook, USS Ross (DDG 71), and USS Porter (DDG 78) from Norfolk, Va., and USS Carney (DDG 64) from Mayport, Fla. will be stationed in Rota. Donald Cook will arrive in mid-February.
"The Naval Station Rota community is excited about the arrival of the Sailors and families of USS Donald Cook. Everyone is working together to ensure they have a smooth transition as well as make them feel at home in Rota," said Capt. Greg Pekari, NAVSTA Rota commanding officer. "We're looking forward to having them enjoy the wonderful Spanish culture as well as the fantastic relationships we've enjoyed with our Spanish hosts for more than 60 years."
These multi-mission ships will perform a myriad of tasks, including NATO missile defense, the full spectrum of maritime security operations, bi-lateral and multi-lateral training exercises, and NATO operations and deployments. Ross will join Donald Cook in Rota later this year, and Carney and Porter will arrive in 2015.
"The Donald Cook team is excited and honored to be the first destroyer stationed in Rota, Spain," said Cmdr. Scott A. Jones, commanding officer, Donald Cook. "We greatly appreciate all the hard work from Naval Station Rota, Destroyer Squadron 60, Commander Naval Surface Force Atlantic, and Spain; they have all worked tremendously hard to ensure the ship, Sailors, and our Families are well supported as we transition into the Rota Community."