By Ensign Kelly Harris, USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) Public Affairs
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) arrived in Rotterdam, Netherlands for a scheduled port visit to enhance U.S.-Netherlands relations and strengthen NATO Alliance cohesion, March 12, 2022.
The ship’s presence in the North Atlantic is a demonstration of the U.S. Navy’s continued commitment to collective defense of the European region and reinforces the strong bond between the United States and Netherlands. The Sullivans deployed in 2021 with Royal Netherlands Navy HNLMS Eversten (F805) demonstrating seamless, integration as an integrated part of United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group 21.
“The crew has the opportunity to step off the ship and recharge,” said Cmdr. James Diefenderfer, Jr., commanding officer. “This visit allows the crew to get out and visit the local sites of Rotterdam, experience the rich history and culture of the Netherlands. Participate in a community relations event allows an enhancement of U.S.-Netherlands relations, and will leave a lasting impact on this ship and her crew.”
Prior to arriving in Rotterdam, The Sullivans participated in the NATO exercise Dynamic Guard, a multinational exercise designed to provide tactical training for the NATO Response Force among other national units. The Sullivans was one of two U.S. ships to participate in the exercise alongside HNLMS Van Amstel (F831), enhancing cooperation, strength, and interoperability between NATO Allies.
While in port Rotterdam, the ship’s leadership will meet local and military leadership, while the crew will participate in a community relations opportunity at Lentiz Life College, where Sailors will play basketball hosted by the YETS Foundation.
The US Embassy in the Hague is especially delighted to welcome the USS The Sullivans during her port visit to the Kingdom of Netherlands, the United States' oldest ally, after her joint deployment to the Indo-Pacific with the HNLMS Evertsen and the Queen Elizabeth Strike Group,” said Capt. Jennifer Mills, Senior Defense Official and Naval Attaché Netherlands. “We work closely with the Royal Netherlands Navy and the other Dutch Armed Services all over the world, from the Caribbean to the Arctic, the Middle East, Africa, and the Western Pacific. The city of Rotterdam, with its rich history and international nexus, provides a fantastic background to showcase our nations' close partnership - we are immensely grateful for their hospitality and generosity.”
As NATO Allies, the U.S. and Netherlands Navy routinely operate together to build combined maritime interoperability. USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) is deployed to the European theater of operations and participating in a range of maritime activities in support of U.S. Sixth Fleet and NATO Allies.
The Sullivans is named to honor the five brothers from Waterloo, Iowa who served together on the USS Juneau during World War II. The Sullivan brothers: George, 28; Francis, 27; Joseph, 24; Madison, 23; and Albert, 20; lost their lives during the Battle of Guadalcanal on November 13, 1942. They were adamant about serving together in spite of the Navy wartime policy to separate family members.
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, security, and stability in Europe and Africa.
For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/thesullivansddg68/, www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.