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Forward Deployed Naval Forces Rota (FDNF Rota)

FDNF Rota is part of President Barack Obama’s direction to provide ballistic missile defense capabilities as part of the European Phased Adaptive Approach. The approach is to be implemented in four phases between 2011 and 2020 to defend Europe against ballistic missile threats. The decision to station four Aegis destroyers atNaval Station Rota will place these ships in a position to maximize their operational flexibilityfor theater missions and crisis response in the Atlantic Ocean and across the Mediterranean Sea.These versatile, multi-mission platforms will perform a myriad of tasks, including BMD, maritimesecurity operations, humanitarian missions, and bilateral and multilateral exercises.

The deployment of the Navy destroyer USS Donald Cook, equipped with the Aegis shipboard integrated combat weapons system, was announced by US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Munich Security Conference on 01 February 2014. “An important posture enhancement is European missile defense in response to ballistic missile threats from Iran,” Hagel said, adding that the US is committed “to deploying missile defense architecture there,” as a part of Phase 3 of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA). Hagel also said that over the next two years, three additional Aegis-enabled missile defense-capable destroyers will join the effort to protect NATO countries on the European continent. “Despite fiscal constraints, the budget that we will release next month fully protects our investment in European missile defense,” Hagel said.

The USS Donald Cook became the first of four ballistic missile defense (BMD)-capable ships based in Europe. It would be joined by the destroyer Ross in a few months, while Carney and Porter will reach European waters in 2015. The US Navy estimated that 1,239 military personnel would move to Spain's port of Rota as part of the EPAA plan. The move would cost $92 million, with another $100 million being spent annually on maintaining the ships in Spain.

The movement of the four destroyers to Spain and a creation of a ground-based radar is Phase 1 of the EPAA. Phase 2 is the installation of the Aegis Ashore armed with Standard SM-3 IB interceptor missiles in Romania. Phase 3 of EPAA is the creation of Polish Aegis Ashore installation, armed with SM-3 IIA missiles. Phase 4, involving deployment of SM-3 IIB missiles, was canceled by the US in March 2013.

Naval Station Rota marked the opening of a regional maintenance center (RMC) detachment with a ribbon cutting ceremony, 10 December 2013. The ribbon cutting concluded a six-day mock availability that provided the U.S. Navy’s surface ship maintenance community an opportunity to test the processes, communications and systems that would sustain four Arleigh Burke-class destroyers being forward deployed to the base beginning in February 2014. “The establishment of Rota’s detachment underscores the importance of the [chief of naval operations’] tenet, to operate forward,” said Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command Vice Adm. William Hilarides. “I am extremely impressed by the cooperation and teamwork between the U.S. and Spain. I spoke with a few individuals before the ribbon cutting ceremony, and there was a common trait of each conversation; hard work and dedication. I have complete confidence in the success of forward deployed naval forces (FDNF) in Rota.”

The RMC detachment is part of base preparations that hade been underway since the FDNF Rota announcement in 2011. The detachment, which was scheduled to be fully functional by January 2014, would oversee industrial engineering and contractor services for the maintenance and modernization of four destroyers.

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Page last modified: 02-02-2014 18:35:52 ZULU