By Lt. Teresa C. Meadows, Destroyer Squadron 60/Commander, Task Force 65 Public Affairs
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) departed Naval Station Rota, Spain, for the last time as a Forward Deployed Naval Forces-Europe (FDNF-E) asset, June 27, 2020.
USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), named after the 32nd President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor, replaced Carney in the first of four scheduled homeport shifts to occur in support of the U.S. Navy’s long-range plan to gradually rotate the Rota-based destroyers.
“Carney’s role as one of our forward-deployed destroyers in Spain has been the cornerstone of the United States’ commitment to our NATO allies and partners, and to our combined integrated air and missile defense architecture,” said Vice Adm. Lisa M. Franchetti, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet (C6F). “Through all five years’ worth of operations and exercises, Carney Sailors set the bar high for readiness, interoperability, and combat effectiveness.”
Carney came to C6F on Sept. 25, 2015, as one of the first Rota-based FDNF-E destroyers under commander, Task Force (CTF). Carney began operational tasking in the C6F area of operation immediately upon arrival, conducting operations in the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Eastern Atlantic Ocean, Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and Persian Gulf. The ship conducted 55 port calls throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. In an effort to maintain and improve efforts towards “Partnership for Peace,” Carney conducted six at-sea maritime training exercises and one passing exercise (PASSEX) with partner nations in the Black Sea. Additionally, the ship participated in 11 large-scale exercises in the European theater, improving relations with both NATO allies and partners to include exercise Sea Breeze 2019.
“Working in 6th Fleet and under the direction of CTF 65 has been a phenomenal experience,” said Cmdr. Christopher J. Carrol, Carney’s Commanding Officer. “We were extremely blessed for the opportunities to meet the objectives of the Fleet.”
On her seventh and final patrol in the spring of 2020, Carney conducted a Tactical Control (TACON) shift from C6F to U.S. 5th Fleet in support of national tasking alongside the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG). The unconventional FDNF-E patrol included port visits to the Seychelles and to Cape Town, South Africa, which reinforced the partnership between the U.S. and South Africa. While transiting back to Rota, Spain, Carney became the most recent ship in naval history to circumnavigate Africa instead of transiting north through the Suez Canal.
"Carney's departure is a proud moment for all of us,” said Capt. Joseph A. Gagliano, commander, Task Force (CTF) 65. “In addition to the crew departing with pride for a job well done, we are proud to return Carney in peak readiness condition. Both the ship and crew are ready for any mission."
Carney is scheduled to return to its former homeport of Mayport, Florida.
CTF 65 and Destroyer Squadron 60, headquartered in Rota, Spain, oversee the FDNF of C6F’s area of operation in support of regional allies and partners as well as U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa.
C6F, 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.