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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Kerri Kline
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) departed Naval Station Rota, Spain to begin its first Forward-Deployed Naval Forces-Europe (FDNF-E) patrol, Aug. 2, 2021.
Arleigh Burke will conduct maritime security operations in support of national security interests in Europe.
“We are excited to get underway for our inaugural patrol and execute the nation’s missions in this dynamic theater,” said Cmdr. Patrick Chapman, commanding officer of Arleigh Burke. “This incredible crew has been training for years for this very moment- and we are ready.”
This deployment will be the ship’s first since shifting homeports from Naval Station Norfolk to Naval Station Rota in May. While forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, the ship will operate in support of U.S. national security interests in the Sixth Fleet area of operations.
Arleigh Burke successfully completed its first operations in the U.S. Sixth Fleet waters while en route to her new homeport, starting with the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercise Black Toro in the North Atlantic Sea. This exercise enhanced ASW interoperability utilizing air, surface and sub-surface mission capabilities with realistic training in U.S. Sixth Fleet.
Following the conclusion of Black Toro, Arleigh Burke participated in exercise Ragnar Viking in the Norwegian, North and Baltic seas. The multilateral operational exercise demonstrated long-range strike capabilities from the North Atlantic into Lithuania, amphibious landings in Norway, anti-submarine warfare, and surface action group operations in order to control the sea, air, and undersea domains.
Four U.S. Navy destroyers are based in Rota, Spain and are assigned to Commander, Task Force 65 in support of NATO’s Integrated Air Missile Defense architecture. These FDNF-E 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 with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.