The USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) will depart its homeport of Norfolk, Va., January 31, 2014, on her way to Rota, Spain, as the first of four Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers to be stationed in Rota, Spain.
To enhance the security of the European region, three additional Ballistic Missile Defense-capable destroyers -- USS Ross (DDG 71) and USS Porter (DDG 78) from Norfolk, Va., and USS Carney (DDG 64) from Mayport, Fla. will also join the Donald Cook over the course of the next two years.
“The U.S. has a historically strong partnership with Spain, and the strength of that relationship is exemplified today as the first of four U.S. Navy destroyers departs for Rota, Spain,” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. “Permanently forward deploying four ships in Rota will enable us to be in the right place, not just at the right time, but all the time.”
These multi-mission ships will perform a myriad of tasks, including North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) missile defense, the full spectrum of maritime security operations, bilateral and multilateral training exercises, and NATO operations and deployments.
Former Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta initially announced the stationing of four Aegis ships to Rota Oct. 5, 2011, in Brussels, Belgium.