By Ensign Maryrose Stone
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) returned to Naval Station Rota, Spain, following the completion of its second Forward-Deployed Naval Forces-Europe (FDNF-E) patrol in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations, Aug. 3, 2021.
Roosevelt departed for patrol on March 29, 2021 and conducted operations in waters ranging from the Mediterranean Sea to the High North in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa.
“Our second patrol has been a great success,” said Cmdr. Ryan Kendall, commanding officer of Roosevelt. “We have come together as a crew - increasing our warfighting readiness through involvement in numerous exercises and operations demonstrating the resolve and capability of the NATO alliance to provide collective defense in the Sixth Fleet area of operations.”
Roosevelt began its second patrol by participating in exercise Black Toro, an enhanced anti-submarine warfare operation showcasing air, surface, and sub-surface mission capabilities. This type of realistic training emphasizes the inherent flexibility of maritime forces operating at sea and allowed Roosevelt to demonstrate its ability to track and hunt submarines.
Following Black Toro, Roosevelt conducted maritime and security operations in the Aegean Sea, forming a Surface Action Group (SAG) alongside USS Donald Cook (DDG 75). Capt. Joseph Gagliano, commodore, Commander, Task Force 65, embarked aboard Roosevelt and led the two warships through integrated training and preparations for theater operations.
In May, Roosevelt participated in At-Sea Demo/Formidable Shield 2021, a NATO-led Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) exercise. This event involved 150 warfare training serials and live-fire events. During the event, Roosevelt conducted a dual-layer IAMD scenario utilizing two SM-2s and two SM-3s against a simulated medium-range ballistic target as well as a live raid of subsonic targets.
Upon detachment from Formidable Shield, Roosevelt steamed into the Baltic Sea to participate in exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 50. The crew engaged in broad and integrated warfare exercises with 15 NATO allies, increasing interoperability and cooperation while promoting a strong forward presence in the region.
After successful completion of BALTOPS, Roosevelt transited towards the High North, where Sailors had the opportunity to be inducted into the “Order of the Blue Nose” through a traditional naval ceremony recognizing those mariners who have crossed the Arctic Circle.
In July, Roosevelt participated in the US-led exercise Shark Hunt 2021 after a port visit to Reykjavik, Iceland. In this exercise, Roosevelt worked alongside allies from three countries, demonstrating the joint engagement capabilities of allied naval forces and providing the crew another real-world opportunity to hone their anti-submarine warfare capabilities prior to returning to homeport.
“Our Sailors have met every challenge to meet mission requirements and successfully complete patrol,” said Kendall. “They have displayed unparalleled professionalism and expertise while using this valuable time at sea to refine their maritime warfare tactics across the entire spectrum of naval operations.”
Roosevelt, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, operates in support of U.S. national security interests in the Sixth Fleet area of operations.
Four U.S. Navy destroyers are based in Rota, Spain, and 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 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 security interests and stability in Europe and Africa.