USS Bulkeley Leaves for Homeport Shift to Rota; USS Delbert D. Black Leaves for Maiden Deployment

USS Bulkeley (DDG-84) left Norfolk, Va., for its new home in Rota, Spain, on Thursday evening, according to a tweet from a ship spotter. Bulkeley will be part of the Forward Deployed Naval Force-Europe ships in Rota that can conduct ballistic missile defense, according to a U.S. Fleet Forces Command news release. Other ships stationed in […]

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Bulkeley (DDG-84) departs Naval Station Norfolk August 4, 2022, commencing the ship’s scheduled homeport shift to Rota, Spain, as part of the U.S. Navy’s long-range plan to gradually rotate the Rota-based destroyers. US Navy Photo

USS Bulkeley (DDG-84) left Norfolk, Va., for its new home in Rota, Spain, on Thursday evening, according to a tweet from a ship spotter.

Bulkeley will be part of the Forward Deployed Naval Force-Europe ships in Rota that can conduct ballistic missile defense, according to a U.S. Fleet Forces Command news release.

Other ships stationed in Rota include USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51), USS Roosevelt (DDG-80), USS Paul Ignatius (DDG-117) and Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 79.

The Navy has rotated the ships that are homeported in Rota as part of Forward Deployed Naval Force-Europe. Arleigh Burke came to Rota in April 2021, replacing USS Donald Cook (DDG-75). USS Roosevelt replaced USS Carney (DDG-64) in 2020.

Paul Ignatius pulled into Rota for its formal homeport shift in June, USNI News previously reported.

USS Porter (DDG-78) and USS Ross (DDG-71), which are currently homeported at the Spanish naval base, will transition to Norfolk as part of the shift.

The Biden administration in June announced it would base two additional destroyers in Rota, for a total of six, but did not disclose which ships or when they would head to Spain.

Typically the ships in the Forward Deployed Naval Force-Europe operate in the Black Sea for deterrence missions. But no U.S. warships have entered the Black Sea since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

Bulkeley was at one point part of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, deploying with the carrier in 2019. That was the ship’s last deployment, USNI News previously reported.

Bulkeley is currently led by Deputy Commodore of Destroyer Squadron 2 Capt. William Harkin, who temporarily took over as commanding officer after the Navy relieved Cmdr. Devine Johnson from the position. The Navy also relieved Master Chief Earl Sanders as the destroyer’s command master chief. The Navy cited a lack of confidence in the their ability to lead as a command team.

The Harry S. Truman CSG is currently in the Mediterranean Sea as part of U.S. support for NATO allies. USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) has gone under NATO control twice during its time in the Mediterranean.

The Harry S. Truman CSG is expected to leave the Mediterranean this month the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group will move in as the replacement, according to the USNI News Fleet Tracker.

USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119) left Naval Station Mayport, Fla., earlier this week for its maiden deployment. The destroyer will be part of the George H.W. Bush CSG.

“The ship completed all training phases of the Optimized Fleet Response Plan with Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26 and Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10,” U.S. Fleet Forces Command said in a news release.