The U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) returned to Naval Station Rota, Spain, March 31, after completing a four-month forward-deployed patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.
Carney departed Rota Dec. 2, 2017, and began its fourth Forward-Deployed Naval Force (FDNF) patrol in support of regional allies and partners, and U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the crew and how they handled themselves over the past four months on our fourth FDNF patrol,” said Cmdr. Peter Halvorsen, Carney’s commanding officer. “They have performed admirably, and we are all excited to get back to Rota and see our families.”
While on patrol, Carney conducted missions in support of regional allies and partners in the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions.
Carney and the crew also conducted several bilateral and multilateral exercises with Bulgarian, Romanian, Turkish, and Ukrainian navies in the Black Sea, as well as with the Maltese in the Mediterranean. Although every exercise was unique, each had the goal of improving maritime capabilities and reassuring NATO allies and regional partners of U.S. 6th Fleet’s commitment to maritime security and stability in its area of operations.
The crew gave back to communities while moored in Ukraine and Bulgaria by participating in community relations projects. In Ukraine, Carney Sailors conducted ship’s tours for and gave knit hats to local children. In Bulgaria, Sailors visited a local elementary school to spend a day with the children there. Both projects provided the opportunity to meet with the people, and experience the rich history and cultures of those countries.
Carney also hosted a number of receptions for distinguished visitors in Malta, Ukraine, Egypt and Bulgaria, building upon existing relationships with regional allies. Sailors also shared camaraderie with fellow military forces through sportsmanship by playing soccer in Malta and Egypt and a game of basketball in Bulgaria.
At the midpoint of the patrol, Carney returned to Rota for a two-week training and maintenance availability (TRAV). This availability allowed Carney to conduct a maintenance and material management certification, which encompassed 30 maintenance checks and 128 spot checks. The ship completed the certification with a score of 93 percent.
Following TRAV, Carney went back to the Black Sea for a second time and joined USS Ross (DDG 71), Feb. 17, to conduct joint maritime security operations. It was the first time two U.S. ships had operated in the Black Sea since July 2017, during the U.S.-Ukraine co-hosted exercise Sea Breeze 2017.
After departing the Black Sea, Carney participated in exercise Juniper Cobra with Blue Ridge-class command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) and Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) in the eastern Mediterranean before turning its bow toward Rota and home.
In total, Carney and its crew covered nearly 21,000 nautical miles and visited seven countries during the patrol. Carney served 108,000 meals and provided 880 haircuts, expended 60,000 small-caliber rounds, conducted 10 damage control drills, and held major live-fire gunnery exercises.
On March 31, Carney returned to Naval Station Rota. With their loved ones waiting for them on the pier, the Sailors aboard Carney concluded their fourth patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.
MC2 James Turner, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet