The guided-missile destroyer Bulkeley pulled into Naval Station Rota in Spain on Wednesday as part of a homeport shift from Norfolk, Virginia.
The Navy has executed several homeport shifts this year as it seeks to rotate the destroyers based in Rota, and increase the destroyer fleet in Spain from four to six warships over the next several years.
“The Bulkeley crew has been working extremely hard the past year to prepare to join our forward deployed forces in Rota and work with our partners and allies in the region,” said Capt. Mac Harkin, commanding officer of the Bulkeley, in a Navy news release. “We are excited to join our sister ship and aviation units already at the tip of the spear to assure our allies, respond to threats as required and ensure support to global operations.”
The Bulkeley is now part of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces–Europe, which have the flexibility to operate throughout the waters of Europe and Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope to the Arctic Circle, according to the Navy.
The Arleigh Burke, Roosevelt, Paul Ignatius and Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 79 are currently the other forces composing the Forward Deployed Naval Force-Europe assets in Rota.
Although guided-missile destroyers Ross and Porter are based in Rota for now, they will move their homeports to Norfolk in the fall as part of the FDNF-E rotation, now that the Bulkeley is in the 6th Fleet.
The Bulkeley departed Norfolk on Aug. 4.