USS Ross (DDG 71) returned to Naval Station Norfolk, marking the end of a nearly 10 year tour of her time as a Forward Deployed Naval Forces-Europe (FDNF-E) Destroyer, September 10, 2022.

Ross turned over her duties in Rota, Spain with USS Paul Ignatius (DDG 117), where Paul Ignatius will patrol the Mediterranean, strengthening our alliances and partnerships while operating alongside NATO Allies and regional partners.

Capt. James Johnston, U.S. 2nd Fleet’s maritime operations center director, spoke to the crew of Ross upon their return to Norfolk.

“On behalf of Vice Adm. Dwyer, Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet, I am honored to be the first one to welcome you home on this beautiful summer day. As an FDNF-E destroyer, your team proudly represented our Navy and our nation, working side by side with our Allies and partners, building interoperability and providing invaluable defensive capabilities over the course of 12 patrols within 6th Fleet,” said Johnston.

Throughout Ross’ time in U.S. 6th Fleet, the ship participated in previous iterations of Exercise Sea Breeze, Breeze, African Lion, FOST, BALTOPs, Formidable Shield, and other multi-lateral maritime training opportunities with partners to include Cyprus, France, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Morocco, Norway, Romania, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. Mission sets during these exercises included surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, anti-air warfare, and strike warfare scenarios that focus on maintaining maritime stability and security.

“Even on your last patrol in the Mediterranean, you operated during an important time in a dynamic theater, demonstrating our commitment to NATO Allies and regional partners during the Russian invasion into Ukraine this year – you were ready to respond at a moment’s notice. Your dedication to the mission is not lost on us. Thank you for all you have done for our Navy, our nation, and our Allies and partners!”

Ross joined USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) in June 2014 as the first two Rota-based FDNF-E destroyers under Commander, Task Force (CTF) 65.