By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Andrea Rumple
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) arrived in Tromsø, Norway for a scheduled port visit March 25.
Since homeport shifting to the Sixth Fleet Area of Operations in 2020, Roosevelt has pulled into the port of Tromsø five times. Due to the global pandemic, however, this sixth visit will be the first time the crew is able to leave the pier and enjoy liberty in the city and surrounding area.
“The transit into Tromsø is the most dramatic and breathtaking sea and anchor detail I've ever done. We always enjoyed provisioning in Tromsø, and we looked forward to when we'd have the opportunity to get off the pier and explore the culture and activities Norway has to offer,” said Cmdr. John Mastriani, Roosevelt’s commanding officer. “This visit enhances ties with our allies and gives the crew a chance to reset after challenging operations and exercises alongside our partners in the area.”
The city of Tromsø lies well above the Arctic Circle, and is a historic city famed for being a viewing point for the Northern Lights. Roosevelt has only operated this far north during the summer and fall, so this patrol marks the first time that Roosevelt Sailors experienced the Aurora Borealis. The crew got the opportunity to see the rare solar phenomenon on one clear night, a highly anticipated event for many onboard.
Now on her third patrol, Roosevelt is no stranger to operating above the Arctic Circle. During her maiden Sixth Fleet patrol, Roosevelt participated in Dynamic Mongoose 2020, a joint NATO anti-submarine warfare exercise. Roosevelt then returned to the High North during her second patrol in 2021, participating in multiple NATO exercises and supporting Sixth Fleet operational tasking.
Operating above the Arctic Circle holds a valuable perk for Sailors onboard Roosevelt. 28 days (consecutive or not) over one year spent sailing above the Arctic Circle earns Sailors the Navy Arctic Service Ribbon. For Roosevelt Sailors onboard for Patrol 2, that mark will be met following Roosevelt’s operations this patrol.
Roosevelt is one of four U.S. Navy destroyers based in Rota, Spain, and assigned to Commander, Task Force 65 in support of NATO’s Integrated Air Missile and Defense architecture. These Forward-Deployed Naval Forces-Europe 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.