The first of four U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyers to be forward deployed as part of NATO's ballistic missile defense of allied populations and territory arrived at Naval Station Rota in Spain on Feb. 11.
U.S. Navy photo by Cmdr. Philip R. Rosi II
The Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG75) will be the first U.S. Navy Aegis ballistic missile defense system permanently based in Europe, said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
Three more ships of the same class will join the USS Donald Cook over the next two years, shortening the response time of U.S. ships, according to NATO.
NATO plans to achieve a full ballistic missile defense capability during the first half of the 2020s, following the declaration of an interim capability by the NATO summit in Chicago in 2012.