The U.S. Navy has announced its intention to rotate the four Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, which are currently forward deployed in Spanish Rota.
The intention to rotate the four Arleigh Burke-class destroyers in Rota, southern Spain, is related to the plan of enhancing U.S. Navy’s operational capabilities in the 5thand 6thFleets areas of responsibility.
According to the U.S. Navy, USS Porter (DDG 78), USS Ross (DDG 71), USS Carney (DDG 64), and USS Donald Cook (DDG 75), which were relocated to Rota in 2014-2015, will be replaced by newer, modernized ships ‘in order to posture the most capable forces forward in the U.S. European Command area of responsibility’.
Furthermore, in addition to more powerful Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, USN will relocate to Rota a helicopter maritime strike squadron. The unit will supplement the vessels on the battlefield and enhance the operational capability of the whole contingent.
Rotation of the Rota-based Arleigh Burke-class destroyers is expected to commence in 2020. The whole process, during which forward deployed ships will continue to provide required support to local partner nations, should run through to Spring 2022.