USS Bulkeley arrives in Rota, Spain, completing homeport change
The Bulkeley guided-missile destroyer arrived at Naval Station Rota in Spain on Wednesday as part of a homeport change from Norfolk, Virginia.
The navy has executed several homeport changes this year as it seeks to rotate Rota-based destroyers and increase Spain’s destroyer fleet from four to six warships over the next few years.
“The crew of the Bulkeley have worked extremely hard over the past year preparing to join our forward deployed forces in Rota and to work with our partners and allies in the region,” said Captain Mac Harkin, commanding officer of the Bulkeley, in a Navy statement. Release. “We are excited to join our sister ship and our already spearheaded aviation units to secure our allies, respond to threats as needed and provide support for global operations.”
The Bulkeley is now part of Forward Deployed Naval Forces Europe, which has the flexibility to operate in European and African waters, from the Cape of Good Hope to the Arctic Circle, according to the Navy.
The Arleigh Burke, Roosevelt, Paul Ignatius, and the 79th Maritime Strike Helicopter Squadron are the other forces currently comprising the assets of Naval Forward Deployed Force-Europe in Rota.
Although the guided missile destroyers Ross and Porter are based in Rota at the moment, they will move their homeports to Norfolk in the fall as part of the FDNF-E rotation, now that the Bulkeley is part of the 6th fleet.
The Bulkeley departed Norfolk on 4 August.