The guided-missile destroyer Ross’ time in Rota, Spain, has come to an end.

The home port shift to Norfolk, Virginia, is part of the Navy’s plan to rotate the ships based in Rota as it simultaneously increases the destroyer fleet in Spain from four to six warships over the next several years. The Ross and the Donald Cook were the first destroyers to join the Forward Deployed Naval Forces-Europe in 2014.

“Ross and her crew performed admirably while operating as a FDNF-E destroyer,” Capt. Ed Sundberg, commander of Destroyer Squadron 60 and Task Force 65, said in a Navy news release. “For eight years, the entire Ross team stood shoulder to shoulder with our allies and partners building interoperability and bolstering capabilities by playing critical roles in exercises and operations.”

While based in Rota, the Ross completed 12 patrols in the 6th Fleet and completed exercises including Exercise Sea Breeze, Breeze, African Lion, FOST, BALTOPs and Formidable Shield. These exercises required the Ross to conduct surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, anti-air warfare, and strike warfare scenarios.

The vessel also operated with partners and allies in the Black, Baltic and Barent seas, inside thye Arctic Circle, and off the coast of Africa while based in Rota.

The guided-missile destroyer Paul Ignatius replaced the Ross. It arrived in Rota in June to join the Forward Deployed Naval Forces–Europe.

The Arleigh Burke, Roosevelt, Bulkeley and Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 79 are the other forces now comprising Forward Deployed Naval Force-Europe.

The Ross departed Rota Sept. 6.

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