By Lt. j. g. Teresa C. Meadows, commander, Task Force 65 Public Affairs
Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) hosted Sailors assigned to Spanish Santa Maria-class frigate ESPS Reina Sofia (F-84) for a Thanksgiving dinner aboard the ship in Rota, Spain, Nov. 28, 2019.
Amongst the crowd of U.S. Sailors and their families, nearly 50 Spanish Sailors were seen mingling with their counterparts and enjoying a meal together.
“For the Sailors who have duty during the holidays, we always host a nice dinner and allow their families to come aboard to spend time with their service members,” said Cmdr. Kelley T. Jones, Donald Cook’s Commanding Officer. “This year was no different! The turnout was great, as we enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with 50 Sailors from our sister ship, Reina Sofia, and our loved ones. We all had a great time and a delicious meal to give thanks for our continued cooperation.”
Each of the four Forward-Deployed Naval Forces-Europe Arleigh Burke- class destroyers based out of in Rota, Spain, has been assigned a Spanish sister ship. ESPS Reina Sofia is Donald Cook’s sister ship, and events such as the traditional Thanksgiving dinner strengthen the personal camaraderie between the two crews and continue to develop the longstanding partnership between both navies.
Commander, Task Force 65 and Destroyer Squadron 60, headquartered in Rota, Spain, oversee the forward-deployed forces of U.S. 6th Fleet’s area of operation in support of regional allies and partners as well as U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa.
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.