By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Damon Grosvenor
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) visits Theoule-Sur-Mer, France, for scheduled port visit August 14-16, 2019.
The port visit is in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Southern France -- known as Operation Dragoon.
Every year, mayors and civic leaders from the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in Southern France request U.S. military participation to commemorate the southern landings of August 15, 1944, and subsequent liberation of surrounding French communities.
Seventy-five years later, the bravery and heroism by all allies on World War II continue to resonate with U.S. forces in Europe – who remain steadfast in their commitment to European allies and partners.
“The heroism of the Sailors and Soldiers of all ally nations during WWII will be remembered, even 75 years later,” said Kelley T. Jones, the commanding officer of the Donald Cook. “The Donald Cook is honored to commemorate the liberation of southern France with the people of France.”
France holds a special place for Americans, dating back to the Revolutionary War. Over 2 million U.S. service members came to France in defense of our shared liberties in WWII. Of these, over 68,000 service members are buried or memorialized at American cemeteries in France.
The U.S., through our diplomatic missions, continues to strengthen existing and trusted relationships, and build new ones with our allies and partners in response to evolving threats and complex challenges.
Donald Cook, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain is currently conducting its ninth forward-deployed patrol in support of U.S. national security interests in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.
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.