Feb 7, 2014
USS Donald Cook heads to Rota; 3 more DDGs to follow
The destroyer Donald Cook set sail from Norfolk, Va., for its new home port in Rota, Spain, the first of four destroyers over the next two years to be forward-deployed to that nation.
Ross and Porter, out of Norfolk, and Carney, out of Mayport, Fla., will follow Cook as the first U.S. ships to be homeported at Naval Station Rota since 1979.
Former Defense Secretary announced the Rota move in October 2011. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced the chosen ships in February 2012.
Basing ships in Rota will allow the Navy to provide more forward-based presence with fewer ships. Transit time from the U.S. to the operating area is eliminated, and the ships are able to respond quickly to a wide range of contingencies.
About 1,300 sailors and 2,100 family members will move to Rota. They’ll join the 1,300 sailors, 1,700 family members and 200 U.S. civilian workers already there.
Many active-duty sailors were thrilled with the chance to get orders to Spain, and Rota veterans told Navy Times of the excellent quality of life at the base.