The U.S. Navy plans to rotate the four currently Forward Deployed Naval Force-Europe (FDNF-E) ships with newer, modernized ships in order to posture the most capable forces forward in the U.S. European Command (EUCOM) area of responsibility (AOR). Additionally, the U.S. Navy intends to relocate a helicopter maritime strike squadron (HSM) to Rota, Spain, in support of the destroyers, which will enhance the multi-mission roles of these ships.
Continuing to operate the FDNF-E destroyers out of Rota, Spain demonstrates the enduring relationship between the U.S. Navy and our Spanish naval allies. Additionally, the U.S. and Spanish navies will continue working together to conduct ship maintenance, training, and operations in support of maritime security within the EUCOM AOR.
The rotation of these ships will be staggered, with the first rotation scheduled to begin in 2020. During this rotation, FDNF-E ships will continue to conduct their assigned missions in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations. The transition is expected to be complete by Spring 2022.