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NEWS | March 22, 2022

USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) and USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) arrive in Copenhagen

By Ensign Kelly Harris, USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) Public Affairs

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers, USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) and USS Donald Cook (DDG 75), arrived in Copenhagen, Denmark for a scheduled port visits to enhance U.S. - Danish relations and build NATO Alliance cohesion, March 21, 2022. 

The ships’ presence in the Baltic Sea is a demonstration of the U.S. Navy’s continued commitment to the collective defense of the European region as it reinforces the strong and historic bond between the U.S. and Danish navies. 

During The Sullivans’ 2021 deployment the crew worked side by side with the Absalon-class frigate HDMS Esbern Snare (F342) in the Sixth Fleet area of operations. Almost a year later the two destroyers were escorted through the Danish Straits by the Esbern Snare, as she demonstrated her expert navigational skills through one of the busiest waterways in the world.  

“It was comforting to see a familiar face while we operated in the Baltic Sea. The crew on the Esbern Snare are the standard of professionalism,” said Cmdr. James Diefenderfer, commanding officer of The Sullivans. “Now our focus is on experiencing the Danish culture while in Copenhagen. This should be an exceptional port visit and another chance to grow our ties with our NATO allies.” 

Prior to pulling into port, The Sullivans and Donald Cook participated in NATO exercise Dynamic Guard on Feb. 22-25 with Royal Danish Navy Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate HDMS Peter Willemoes (F362). Dynamic Guard, hosted by Norway, is a biannual, multinational NATO electronic warfare exercise series designed to provide tactical training for the NATO Response Force and NATO national units. For the first time in three years, two U.S. vessels attended the Dynamic Guard exercise, in an effort to enhance the ongoing cooperation, strength and interoperability between the NATO nations and its allies. 

"The continuing cooperation between NATO partners is essential to supporting peace in the region," said Cmdr. Matthew Curnen, commanding officer of Donald Cook. " I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity to visit Copenhagen in order to engage in meaningful talks with Danish officials." 

While in port in Copenhagen, the Donald Cook will host a dinner and conduct ship tours with members of the Danish public, government, media, and defense community in order to further enhance U.S.-Danish mutual understanding and cooperation. The ship’s crew will have the opportunity to partake in the rich culture of Denmark and its citizens through tours and visits to historic sights.

“The United States and Denmark enjoy a close, enduring alliance built on mutual interests and shared values, and we cooperate closely on European and other regional security matters.  The visit of the USS Donald Cook and USS The Sullivans is evidence of this close partnership and our mutual desire to build flexibility to meet evolving challenges by building readiness and increasing bilateral, joint, and multinational interoperability,” explained Capt. Justin Orlich, Senior Defense Official for Naval Attaché & Naval Air Attaché, U.S. Embassy Copenhagen. “We are pleased to welcome these two vessels to Copenhagen and look forward to the opportunity for their respective crews and commanders to experience the rich culture and hospitality of the Danes while here.”

U.S. Naval Forces Europe, 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.