Lynn Sailor Serves Aboard Guided Missile Destroyer in Spain

By Lt. Philip Fortnam, Navy Office of Community Outreach Public Affairs

A Lynn, Massachusetts native is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided missile destroyer, USS Donald Cook.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Jordan Carter is a logistics specialist aboard the forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer operating out of Rota, Spain. Donald Cook is one of four destroyers home ported in Rota.

According to Carter, a Navy logistics speacialist is responsible for, “making sure the ship has the parts and supplies it needs to get underway and accomplish its mission.”

“One of the best things about being on this ship is the fact that I get to do a wide variey of things,” said Carter. “Like, in addition to my supply job, I am a rescueman for flight ops. That means if there is a crash I am one of the first responders.”

Commissioned in 1998, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, Donald Cook, measures approximately 500 feet and is powered by four gas turbines that allow the destroyer to achieve over 30 mph in open seas. It was named in honor of Donald Cook, a Vietnam War prisoner of war who died in captivity.

This ship has been fitted with the Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) capability that enables the ship to conduct long-range surveillance, tracking, and engagement of short and medium-range ballistic missiles.

According to Navy officials, destroyers are tactical multi-mission surface combatants capable of conducting anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare, as well as humanitarian assistance. Fast, maneuverable, and technically advanced, destroyers provide the required warfighting expertise and operational flexibility to execute any tasking overseas.

Assigned to U.S. 6th Fleet, sailors are on watch throughout the European region and are important assets supporting the European Phased Adaptive Approach to enhance the security of that area of the world from ballistic missile threats originating in the Middle East.

In addition to Donald Cook, three other BMD capable ships are forwarded deployed in Rota: USS Porter, USS Carney and USS Ross. Having four destroyers based in Rota gives the U.S. 6th Fleet flexibility to send these ships to a variety of locations for a range of missions, while at the same time providing a large umbrella of protection for European allies.

Approximately 30 officers and 300 enlisted men and women make up the ship’s company. Their jobs are highly specialized and keep each part of the cruiser running smoothly, according to Navy officials. The jobs range from washing dishes and preparing meals to maintaining engines and handling weaponry.

“I like being busy and the operational tempo on the Cook is high,” said Carter.

Challenging living conditions build strong fellowship among the crew, Navy officials explained. The crew is highly motivated, and quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches, and drills.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Carter explained that he and other Donald Cook sailors know they are part of a legacy that will be last beyond their lifetimes.

“I’m grateful for the Navy giving me the opportunity to start life on the right foot,” added Carter.

USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) commissioned 1998 and named in honor of Donald cook, a Vietnam War prisoner of war who died in captivity.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) departed Naval Station Rota, Spain, on March 14th, 2016, to begin her fourth forward-deployed patrol in support of ballistic missile defense of Europe and demonstrate the U.S. commitment to collective defense of allies and partners under Operation Atlantic Resolve.

Donald Cook’s forward presence in the 6th Fleet area of Operations, and the ship’s participation in theater exercises and port visits with allies and partners will contribute to EUCOM’s  overarching efforts toward regional stability.

Quick Facts:

Donald Cook’s third patrol from July to November 2015 included Underway engagements with the Turkish, Romanian and Ukrainian naval forces, as well as port visits to, Turkey, France, Cyprus and Ukraine, where Donald Cook hosted a reception attended by the Prime Minister of Ukraine; Commander of the Naval Forces Armed Forces of Ukraine; U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine; Minister of Defense of Ukraine; Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, Vice Adm. James Foggo III; Commander Task Force 65; Capt. Dromerhauser, and other exercise participants.

Donald Cook’s second patrol, completed April, 2015, included underway engagements with French, Ukrainian and Turkish naval forces, as well as port visits to Romania, Bulgaria and Israel.

On its first forward deployed patrol, from March to July 2014, Donald Cook’s patrol also included engagements during port visits in Constanta, Romania, where the crew hosted Romanian President Traian Băsescu.

“Why Being There Matters”

On our planet, more than 70 percent of which is covered by water, being there means having the ability to act from the sea. The Navy is uniquely positioned to be there; the world’s oceans give the Navy the power to protect America’s interests anywhere, and at any time. Your Navy protects and defends America on the world’s oceans. Navy ships, submarines, aircraft and, most importantly, tens of thousands of America’s finest young men and women are deployed around the world doing just that. They are there now. They will be there when we are sleeping tonight. They will be there every Saturday, Sunday and holiday this year. They are there around the clock, far from our shores, defending America at all times.

Thank you very much for your support of the men and women in U.S. Navy, deployed around the clock and ready to protect and defend America on the world’s oceans.

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