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170411-N-FQ994-167 LARNACA, Cyprus (April 11, 2017) USS Ross (DDG 71) hosts a change of command ceremony aboard the ship during a scheduled port visit to Larnaca, Cyprus, April 11, 2017. During the ceremony, Cmdr. Bryan Gallo relieved Cmdr. Russell Caldwell as commanding officer of the ship. USS Ross, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert S. Price/Released)
USS Ross is ready to conduct prompt, sustained combat operations at sea in support of carrier battle groups, surface action groups, amphibious assault groups and stands ready to become an integral part of interdiction forces. Ross can operate in any threat environment. She can defeat hostile surface ships, submarines, and air forces simultaneously while delivering long range attacks.
Ross' diverse combat capability is orchestrated by the AEGIS Weapon System - the only fully integrated electronic detection, engagement and fire control system in the world today. AEGIS enables Ross to detect, evaluate and engage an enemy with lethal firepower and accuracy.
Ross' weapons include surface-to-air missiles, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, Tomahawk cruise missiles, antisubmarine rockets, torpedoes, Phalanx Close-In Weapons Systems and a five-inch rapid-fire deck gun. Electronic warfare countermeasures, decoys, and passive detection systems supplement these weapons.
Ross' undersea warfare suite consists of underwater surveillance equipment including a hull-mounted sonar and an acoustic array towed behind the ship. Together, these undersea warfare systems give ROSS the capability to detect and prosecute submarines in blue ocean and littoral environments.
Four powerful gas turbine engines provide power for Ross to successfully complete her warfare missions. They are capable of propelling Ross to speeds greater than 31 knots. Two controllable reversible pitch propellers assist her rapid acceleration and uncanny maneuverability.
Ross combines versatility and flexibility to successfully engage any adversary today and into the 21st Century. Ross and her crew are ready to serve our Navy and our Nation in support of American policy, and stand in defense of democracy and freedom throughout the world.
USS Ross' keel was laid in April 1995 in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and she was christened one year later by Helen Lou Ross, widow of the ship's namesake. Ross' crew of plank owners moved aboard in April 1997 and sailed her to Galveston, Texas, where she was commissioned on June 28, 1997.
After completing Combat Systems Ship Qualification Trials and an Inter Deployment Training Cycle, Ross left on her maiden deployment March 26, 1999 as part of the Theodore Roosevelt Battle Group. Ross' first deployment included Tomahawk missile strikes in support of Operation Allied Force in Kosovo, the first-ever combat operation in NATO history. Ross was awarded the Battle Efficiency "E" for calendar year 1999 in recognition of her outstanding performance throughout her work-ups and during her deployment.
Ross next deployed in April 2000 as the flagship for Commander, Carrier Group Eight, in support of Exercise BALTOPS 2000, which featured over 50 ships from 14 nations.
On September 11, 2001 Ross deployed on three hours' notice in order to defend the United States' eastern seaboard in response to the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. Ross acted for a time as Regional Air Defense Commander in support of Commander, North American Air Defense Command. Ross was also recognized that year with the prestigious Arizona Memorial Trophy for being the most combat ready ship in the U. S. Navy.
On October 17, 2001, just weeks after the attacks, Ross deployed to the Mediterranean Sea in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, providing air defense and strike capabilities in the beginning phases of the Global War on Terror. Returning from deployment in April 16, 2002, Ross maintained her combat readiness by participating in numerous exercises, including BALTOPS 2003, and completed the inter-deployment training cycle to prepare for her next deployment.
Ross deployed again in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in April, 2004. The ship completed four months of operations in the Fifth and Sixth Fleet areas of responsibility, conducting Maritime Interdiction Operations and participating in the ceremonies surrounding the 50th commemoration of the Allied assault at Normandy.
In September 2005, she was selected to replace USS Thomas S. Gates as flagship for UNITAS 47-06, a multinational exercise in Brazil, after a significant portion of Gates' crew was displaced in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. With only two weeks' notice, Ross put to sea for a two-month deployment, embarking Commander, Destroyer Squadron Six and sailing to Rio de Janeiro. Ross returned on Thanksgiving Day 2005, and then began preparations for another overseas movement, departing Norfolk in February 2006 to participate in Neptune Warrior 061 in the waters surrounding Scotland.
Upon return to Norfolk, Ross' crew had only one month to prepare for a six-month deployment in support of Operation Active Endeavor in the Mediterranean Sea. Ross deployed on May 1, 2006 as part of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG 2), conducting more than 850 queries of merchant shipping. Ross returned to Norfolk November 6, 2006 having spent 10 of the past 14 months at sea.
After completing INSURV and a series of major Engineering inspections in 2007, Ross deployed once more to the Fifth and Sixth Fleet areas of responsibility in support of the Global War on Terrorism in February, 2008.
In 2013, Ross began preparations for a Homeport Shift from Norfolk, Virginia to Rota, Spain, as one of four Arleigh Burke (DDG 71) Class Destroyers chosen to be forward deployed to Spain. These four ships provide a core component of the European Phased Adaptive Approach, whose focus is Ballistic Missile Defense of Europe. After a year of rigorous training, Ross successfully executed INSURV in February, 2014, and departed in March for Joint Warrior 2014. Ross then conducted the shift to Rota in June, 2014, and departed Rota for her first FDNF-E Patrol in July. While on patrol, Ross participated in Relentless Shield, Ramstein Alliance, and Sea Breeze 2014, in addition to 6th Fleet tasking in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.
As an FDNF-E ship, Ross has maintained a very high operational tempo since its arriving in Spain. The year 2015 saw two Sixth Fleet Maritime Patrols, three large-scale BMD exercises, Flag Officer Sea Training, and Joint Warrior 2015 for Ross who then departed for her second Mediterranean and Black Sea Maritime Patrol in March, supporting multiple Ballistic Missile Defense operations. After returning to homeport briefly, Ross departed in September to participate in Royal Navy Flag Officer Sea Training and Joint Warrior. After Joint Warrior, Ross broke new ground alongside 11 allied nations in validating the NATO ballistic missile defense architecture during the Maritime Theater Missile Defense At Sea Demonstration 2015 (ASD-15). In the defining moment of ASD-15, Ross executed the first successful SM-3 intercept in the 6th Fleet Area of Operations which signaled the ultimate accomplishment of Phase II of the President's Phased, Adaptive Approach for Missile Defense in Europe.
As a result of this sustained level of excellence, Ross sailor FC1 Elizabeth Clark was named as the Navy's Missile Defender of the Year and the command was awarded the Arleigh Burke Trophy for improvement made in battle efficiency.
Ross then conducted her second Ballistic Missile Defense patrol of 2015, departing Rota in November, 2015 and returning in March, 2016. During this patrol, Ross provided air defense for the Charles De Gaulle Carrier Strike Group in addition to her Ballistic Missile Defense mission.
Ross executes every evolution, exercise, and operational commitment was with the utmost professionalism and precision embodied by the Ross motto, "Fortune Favors Valor."