The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) arrived at Naval Station Rota, Spain to begin her forward deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations, June 16.
Ross, departed Norfolk, Va., June 3, and is the second of four Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers to be forward deployed to Rota, joining USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) which has been on station since February.
"On the global and regional stage, we are allies, and we share a common interest in maintaining a Europe that is safe, secure and prosperous. We work closely together with the NATO Alliance, with other partners across the region, and nation to nation as well," said Vice Adm. Phil Davidson, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet. "To the crew of USS Ross, I say again, welcome! Welcome to Rota. Welcome to 6th Fleet. Welcome to one of the most dynamic operational environments in the world. You have worked many long hours to get here, and we are going to put your training to the test. You are now present where it matters, and it matters right now."
The purpose behind Ross' and the other destroyers' forward deployment is to enhance the security of the European region. While in U.S. 6th Fleet, these ships will perform numerous missions including NATO missile defense, maritime security operations, bilateral and multilateral training exercises, and NATO operations and deployments.
Upon arrival in Rota, Ross and her crew were greeted by family members, and dignitaries that included Davidson, and Spanish Fleet Adm. Santiago Bolibar-Piñeiro.
"Everyone takes part in history, but very few actually write it. Spain did it in past times. Today, it is the United States of America's turn, and as this achievement involves a huge responsibility; we want to support you," said Bolibar-Piñeiro. "Welcome to Rota Naval Station, to your homes, so that you can successfully write this history through our shared defense of the western civilization and of the world peace. I say welcome to your home because Spain, our home, is also the home of our friends and allies. Sixty years living together in Rota have proven this."
USS Porter (DDG 78) and USS Carney (DDG 64) are scheduled to join Ross and Donald Cook in 2015.
"The USS Ross and her Sailors are excited to serve as part of the U.S. Navy's Forward Deployed Naval Force in Rota, Spain," said Ross' Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Tadd Gorman. "We have been training for years so that we are ready to operate forward and work with our European allies, as well as other U.S. assets and personnel in the region."
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts a full range of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation missions in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners in order to advance security and stability in Europe and Africa.