Three U.S. Navy Destroyers Operate with Pair of P-8A Aircraft in Atlantic Ocean

Three forward-deployed U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers from Rota, Spain operated together in the Atlantic Ocean with two P8-A Poseidon Maritime Surveillance Aircraft from Sigonella, Italy, March 29.

USS Carney (DDG 64), USS Donald Cook (DDG 75), and USS Porter (DDG 78) sailed together in the eastern Atlantic, demonstrating 6th Fleet’s continued dedication to regional stability and maritime security. Two P-8As from Patrol Squadron 4 (VP 4) joined the destroyers.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Porter (DDG 78) and USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) transit behind the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) while two P-8 Poseidon aircraft flyover for a photo exercise, March 29, 2020. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Juan Sua)

“Our forward deployed forces continue to conduct the full spectrum of maritime operations, as do our allies and partners in the region,” said Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet. “We’ve worked diligently to protect the health of our Sailors, while ensuring 6th Fleet continues to demonstrate the inherent flexibility of naval forces to support our national security objectives.”

P-8As, from Commander, Task Force 67, continue to execute regular maritime patrol missions throughout the region, providing a critical capability to the Navy and our allies.

“This mission demonstrates the seamless ability of 6th Fleet Task Forces to safely operate together in today’s COVID-19 environment,” said Capt. William “BP” Pennington, commodore, CTF 67. “Our forces are employing sound mitigation steps to keep our sailors healthy, being hard targets against the coronavirus. By keeping our top assets, our sailors healthy, our flight operations continue to support the Fleet, demonstrating the tight-knit integration between our surface and air assets, and without a doubt, our unparalleled ability to flawlessly execute coordinated high-end naval warfare.”

Last week, after taking the appropriate precautions due to COVID 19 to ensure the crews were safe and healthy, Porter and Donald Cook began 8th and 10th patrols, respectively. While deployed to the waters around Europe and Africa, the ships will ensure freedom of navigation and serve as part of Europe’s comprehensive ballistic missile defense network.

“Porter got under way, with a healthy crew, to ensure regional security and demonstrate commitment to our partners and allies,” said Cmdr. Craig Trent, USS Porter’s commanding Officer. “We’re USS Porter, Freedom’s champion; we have the watch”

Carney, Porter, and Donald Cook comprise 75 percent of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces-Europe destroyers. USS Ross (DDG 71) completes the quartet of FDNF destroyers which report to Commander, Task Force 65/ Destroyer Squadron 60. Carney is completing a circumnavigation of Africa and recently participated in a historic port visit to Cape Town, South Africa. Ross completed her 9th patrol March 14, after sailing as part of the Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group, Task Force (CTF) 473, and operating in the Black Sea with Turkey, Bulgaria, and Romania.

USS Donald Cook with P-8 Poseidon
A P-8 Poseidon aircraft flies over the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) during a photo exercise with the USS Porter (DDG 78) and USS Carney (DDG 64), March 29, 2020. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Juan Sua)

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