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NEWS | Dec. 30, 2021

USS Ross departs Rota, Spain to begin 12th Patrol

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Claire DuBois

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) departed Naval Station Rota, Spain, Dec. 27, 2021, marking the beginning of its 12th Forward-Deployed Naval Forces-Europe (FDNF-E) patrol in the U.S. Sixth Fleet (SIXTHFLT) area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa.

During its most recent patrol, patrol 11, Ross worked alongside NATO allies and partners throughout SIXTHFLT waters, honing the capabilities and capacities of these like-minded nations individually and as a cohesive team.

The ship participated in Fleet Operational Sea Training (FOST) with the British Royal Navy, the Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO)-led Exercise At-Sea Demo/Formidable Shield (ASD/FS) and the Moroccan-led exercise African Lion.

Ross then transited to the Black Sea to join the U.S. and Ukrainian co-hosted Exercise Sea Breeze, as well as the Bulgarian-led exercise Breeze. Following Breeze, Ross sailed back to the Mediterranean Sea, beginning its journey back to Rota for the end of patrol.

Ross returned from patrol 11 on July 26, 2021. While in port, Ross conducted numerous qualification events, including Search and Rescue and Visit, Board, Search and Seizure certifications, as well as a Damage Control Material Assessment.

“Coming off of patrol 11, Ross has had an extensive industrial maintenance availability to ensure the ship is materially and mission ready,” said Cmdr. Scott Jones, commanding officer of Ross. “I am confident we are 100 percent ready for patrol 12.”

Over the next several months, Ross is scheduled to again participate in various training exercises with allied and partner nations. 

“I am looking forward to working with our allies and partners on this patrol,” said Jones. “There is no place that I'd rather be than working alongside the Sailors on Team Ross.”

Four U.S. Navy destroyers, including Ross, 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 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 security interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.