NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN –
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) recently concluded operations above the Arctic Circle while conducting a routine maritime security patrol to monitor Russian maritime activity, Oct. 16, 2019.
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, and the value of having forward-deployed naval forces available to operate in the U.S. 6th Fleet (C6F) area of operations (AOO).
“The U.S. 6th Fleet must be ready to conduct the full range of naval operations throughout the EUCOM and AFRICOM areas of responsibility,” said Vice Adm. Lisa M. Franchetti, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet. “This includes being prepared at the operational and tactical levels, in concert with our allies, partners, and joint forces to deter and, if necessary, defeat aggression. Military presence, cooperation, and collaboration across the region ensures we achieve our collective goal of a secure, stable maritime environment.”
C6F operates forces across the Arctic Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Baltic Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, and parts of the Indian Ocean providing seamless coverage and support to the regional U.S. combatant commanders.
“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 U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.