ARLINGTON, Va. — The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt has arrived at its new homeport, Naval Station Rota, Spain, the U.S. 6th Fleet said in a May 18 release.
The destroyer arrived May 16 after participating in a regional patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations. The ship departed its previous homeport, Naval Station Mayport, Florida, on March 21.
“The Roosevelt is replacing USS Carney in the first of several scheduled homeport shifts to occur in support of the U.S. Navy’s long-range plan to gradually rotate the four Rota-based destroyers,” the release said.
The Roosevelt will join USS Ross, a Flight I destroyer, USS Donald Cook, and USS Porter, a Flight II DDG, as part of the Forward-Deployed Naval Force-Europe in the 6th Fleet. The four ships perform ballistic-missile defense patrols in the Mediterranean among other missions for the fleet.
The Roosevelt is a Flight IIA DDG that brings the Aegis Baseline 9/Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) 5.1 Advanced Capability Build upgrade to the Aegis Combat System.
The system “integrates its weapons and sensors to include Cooperative Engagement Capability; Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile; Mk15 Close-In Weapons System Block 1B; and the Mk41 Vertical Launching System, capable of supporting Standard Missile (SM) 3 and newer variants. These capabilities vastly increase the sea-based BMD force structure and contribute to NATO’s robust integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) architecture,” the release said.
Another arrival with the Roosevelt were two embarked MH-60R Seahawk helicopters from Detachment 7 of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 48.
“Having the MH-60R on board provides Roosevelt with an organic asset that enhances situational awareness in the areas of [anti-submarine warfare] and [surface warfare],” Lt. Cmdr. Benjamin T. Harris, air operations officer of HSM-48 Detachment 7, said in the release. “Additionally, the MH-60R provides the ship an [organic] asset capable of performing [search and rescue], logistics support and a variety of other missions without having to rely on outside entities.”
“Roosevelt and her crew add increased lethality with the Navy’s most advanced sensors, weapons, and communication systems, to include our embarked MH-60R [helicopter] teams,” said Cmdr. Matthew Molmer, commanding officer of the Roosevelt. “Our ability to integrate with 6th Fleet, joint players in Europe, and the nation’s allies and partners adds capabilities that we are just beginning to leverage.”
The Navy plans to station a full MH-60R squadron in Rota by the time the three remaining Flight I/II DDGs are replaced.
“Roosevelt has already proven she is a great asset to 6th Fleet, enhancing the capabilities of our Forward Deployed Naval Forces-Europe Aegis destroyers in Rota, Spain,” said Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander of the 6th Fleet. “Her arrival, hosted by our long-standing ally, Spain, enhances our combined commitment to a stable and secure Europe and further reinforces our ironclad commitment to our allies and partners.”