NEWS | Nov. 16, 2018

USS Donald Cook Completes 2 Bilateral Exercises in 2 Days

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ford Williams

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) completed two separate bilateral exercises with French and Turkish maritime counterparts in the Mediterranean Sea.
During the exercise with France, completed on Dec. 16, 2018, Donald Cook and the French frigate Aconit (F 713) conducted an integrated general quarters drill and live-fire gunnery exercises.
“Working with Arconit was such a great experience for the crew of Donald Cook,” said Cmdr. Kelley Jones, executive officer of Donald Cook. “Our team was able to share ideas on maritime operations, which included firefighting techniques and gunnery exercises, and tours of both surface vessels.”
In addition, crewmembers from both navies cross-decked to enjoy lunch and provided tours while aboard their naval counterparts vessel.
“We always find great value in working with the French as we build a stronger partnership, planning towards theatre cooperation in the future,” said Jones.
On Dec. 17, 2018 Donald Cook and Turkish ships TCG Gokceada (F 492) and TCG Gemlik (F 494) conducted various surface exercises, maneuvering techniques as well as a photo exercise during their bilateral exercise.
"We always welcome the opportunity to conduct exercises with the Turkish Navy as we all work to increase security throughout the region," said Cmdr. Matthew Powel, commanding officer of Donald Cook. "Engagements such as these strengthen the bonds between the U.S. and our partners as we work toward mutual goals. Through strengthened relationships, we can expect an increase in peace and prosperity throughout the region."
Donald Cook, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, deployed from Naval Station Rota on Nov. 19, 2018 on its eighth forward-deployed naval forces patrol.
While on patrol, Donald Cook is scheduled to conduct naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa.
The U.S. routinely practices interoperability and high-end warfare with allies and partners. Multinational training enhances interoperability partners and allies allowing us to maintain vigilance to the degree necessary to promote a secure and prosperous region.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.