By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Will Hardy
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) departed Naval Station Rota, Spain for its eleventh forward-deployed naval forces (FDNF) patrol, Oct. 30.
Donald Cook will be conducting naval operations and exercises in the Sixth Fleet area of operations. The ship typically operates independently, but also regularly works alongside NATO allies and partners in the region.
The ship recently completed multi-national exercise Joint Warrior 20-2, hosted by the United Kingdom. During Joint Warrior, Donald Cook successfully executed a Live Fire with a Purpose (LFWAP) missile exercise, launching a Standard Missile-2 at an exercise target.
“Joint Warrior was a great way to get the crew warmed up and ready for Patrol 11,” said Cmdr. Kelley Jones, Donald Cook’s commanding officer. “We learned a lot in a short time, and we’re ready to put those lessons to good use in our daily patrol operations.”
This is the 11th patrol that Donald Cook has conducted in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa while being homeported in Naval Station Rota.
Donald Cook is one of four U.S. Navy destroyers based in Rota, Spain, and assigned to Commander, Task Force 65 in support of NATO’s Integrated Air Missile Defense architecture. These Forward-Deployed Naval Forces-Europe ships have the flexibility to operate throughout the waters of Europe and Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope to the Arctic Circle, demonstrating their mastery of the maritime domain.
U.S. Sixth 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.