2 Navy Destroyers Depart from Rota, Spain: ‘We Have the Watch’

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ROTA, Spain (March 23, 2020) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) departs Naval Station Rota, Spain for a regularly scheduled deployment, March 23, 2020. Porter, forward deployed to Rota, Spain, is on its eighth patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Katie Cox/Released)

Two forward deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers from the U.S. 6th Fleet got underway for regularly scheduled patrols from Rota, Spain in support of regional maritime security, this week, the U.S. Navy said in a statement tweeted from its official account on Friday morning.

After completing a weapons onload, Porter deployed on her 8th patrol from Rota; Donald Cook began her 10th patrol. While deployed to the waters around Europe and Africa, the ships will ensure freedom of navigation and serve as part of Europe’s comprehensive ballistic missile defense network.

“Donald Cook got under way to ensure regional security and demonstrate commitment to our partners and allies,” said Cmdr. Kelly Jones, USS Donald Cook’s commanding Officer. “Every day, our crew lives by faith without fear. We have the watch.”

“Every day, our crew lives by faith without fear. We have the watch.”

After taking precautions to ensure the health and safety of their crews, USS Porter (DDG 78) and USS Donald Cook (DDG 75), departed on time from their forward deployed berths in Rota.

“We continue to operate our ships, planes, and submarines throughout the region, being mindful to take appropriate action to protect our people and others,” said Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet. “The health and safety of our Sailors, Marines, Coastguardsmen, civilians, and families, along with that of our allies and partners, remains a top priority.”

Porter and Donald Cook comprise half of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces-Europe destroyers.  USS Carney (DDG 64) and USS Ross (DDG 71) comprise the remainder of CTF 65/ DESRON 60.

“Before every ship leaves for patrol, we guarantee they meet the highest standards of readiness,” said Capt. Joe Gagliano, commander, Task Force (CTF) 65 and commodore of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 60. “Porter and Donald Cook are ready to execute missions across the full spectrum of fleet operations, even in this crisis.”

Carney is currently circumnavigating Africa and recently participated in a historic port visit to Cape Town, South Africa.

Ross completed her 9th patrol March 14, after sailing as part of the Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group, Task Force (CTF) 473, and operating in the Black Sea with Turkey, Bulgaria, and Romania.

On her last patrol in Oct 2019, Donald Cook operated above the Arctic Circle while conducting a routine maritime security patrol, monitoring Russian maritime activity and providing for the ballistic missile defense of Europe.

Porter, Carney, Donald Cook, and Ross demonstrate CTF 65’s ability to operate in any maritime environment from the Arctic to the Cape of Good Hope, engaging with our partners, building relationships, and refining our technical and tactical warfare abilities, the Navy said.

On Wednesday, the Navy posted photos of sailors aboard the USS McCampbell, as the forward-deployed U.S. 7th Fleet guided missile destroyer transited the Taiwan Strait.

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