Aug. 4 (UPI) -- The destroyer USS Arleigh Burke has begun a deployment from Rota, Spain to support national security interests in Europe.
The ship's patrol that began on Monday will be the first for the vessel since it moved from Naval Station Norfolk, Va., to its new home port in the spring, according to a statement from the U.S. Navy on Wednesday.
"We are excited to get underway for our inaugural patrol and execute the nation's missions in this dynamic theater," Cmdr. Patrick Chapman, commanding officer of Arleigh Burke, said in a statement. "This incredible crew has been training for years for this very moment, and we are ready."
The Arleigh Burke is one of four U.S. Navy destroyers based in Rota, Spain that make up the Sixth Fleet. The fleet operates in the waters of Europe and Africa from the Cape of Good Hope to the Arctic Circle in support of NATO's Integrated Air Missile Defense architecture.
On its way to its new home port, the Arleigh Burke conducted its first operations in Sixth Fleet waters that involved an anti-submarine warfare exercise Black Toro in the North Atlantic Sea, according to the U.S. Navy. It also participated in exercise Ragnar Viking, a multilateral operation in the Norwegian, North and Baltic seas that demonstrated long-range strike capabilities, amphibious landings and surface action group operations.
Commissioned in 1991 as the first of its class, the Arleigh Burke carries AEGIS Weapons Systems and the latest AEGIS Baseline 9 upgrades. Prior to its deployment to Spain, the ship participated in a month-long exercise to test its ability to carry out sustained combat operations at sea as part of a strike group.