By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Nicholas Skyles
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) arrived in Rostock, Germany for a scheduled port visit, March 17, 2022.
Donald Cook is conducting routine operations in the Baltic Sea region to enhance interoperability with NATO Allies and promote stability and prosperity in the region.
During the port visit, Donald Cook leaders will host engagements with their German counterparts and Donald Cook’s crew will have the opportunity to experience the culture and history of Germany and the Rostock area.
"The crew of Donald Cook has been working diligently and exceeding expectations since getting underway,” said Cmdr. Kurt Astroth, Donald Cook’s executive officer. “I know they will represent the U.S. Navy to our NATO partners in Germany with the level of professionalism expected by U.S. service members. The hospitality that Germany shows us is absolutely fantastic and it is an honor to be able to spend time in Rostock."
While inport Rostock, Donald Cook Sailors will adhere to all local COVID-19 mitigation measures and ordnances. The health and safety of our Sailors and of the local population in Rostock is our top priority during this port visit.
Prior to entering Rostock, Donald Cook participated in NATO exercise Dynamic Guard, Feb. 22-25, alongside fellow destroyer USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) and the German Navy Berlin-class replenishment ship FGS Berlin (A1411). Dynamic Guard, led by NATO’s Maritime Command (MARCOM), included ships from Standing NATO Maritime Group (SNMG) 1. SNMG 1 is led by Royal Netherlands Navy Commodore (RNLN) A. van de Sande.
“It’s an honor to serve alongside NATO forces in the Sixth Fleet area of operations,” said Hull Maintenance Technician 1st Class Austin Griffiths. “I am excited to go ashore in Rostock to explore the local culture and interact with the citizens of Germany.”
The relationship between the U.S. and Germany is built on mutual commitments to democracy, freedom, trade, rule of law, security, and prosperity. The United States and Germany cooperate bilaterally and multilaterally, frequently in the maritime domain, to advance security, democratic values and the rule of law globally. One key component of this cooperation is the pivotal contribution of the German Navy and German government to the annual Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) exercise.
BALTOPS is the premier maritime-focused exercise in the Baltic Region, which takes place in the Baltic Sea every June. During the exercise, maritime and air forces exercise air defense, maritime interdiction operations, anti-submarine warfare, mine countermeasures and amphibious operations to strengthen the cohesion and interoperability of our NATO Allies and Partners across all layers of the battlespace.
USS Donald Cook is deployed to the European theater of operations and participating in a range of maritime activities in support of the U.S. Sixth Fleet and our NATO allies.
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.