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U.S. Navy Ship Joins NATO Fleet in Spain; Anders Fogh Rasmussen Comments

USS Donald CookThe first of four U.S. Navy ships destined for NATO’s ballistic missile defense fleet reached Spain on Tuesday.

The USS Donald Cook, a naval destroyer that is equipped with the Aegis combat system, will be based at the Spanish Naval Base of Rota, NATO said Tuesday.

“The arrival of the USS Donald Cook marks a step forward for NATO, for European security, and for transatlantic cooperation,” said Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO secretary general.

The ship is designed to perform various tasks such as maritime security operations, bi-lateral and multi-lateral training exercises and NATO operations in the Standing NATO Maritime Groups.

The three additional destroyers are scheduled to arrive at the port during the next two years.

Spain intends for the ships to help build up NATO’s missile defense capabilities in order to protect Europe, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean.

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