Standing NATO Maritime Group Two ship USS Donald Cook visits France
THÉOULE-SUR-MER, FRANCE – Last week, the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) arrived in Théoule-sur-Mer, France, to conduct a scheduled port visit in order to help commemorate the 71st Anniversary of Operation Dragoon, the allied liberation of southern France in August, 1944.
"We are pleased to be here in southern France to commemorate the 71st anniversary of Operation Dragoon, which played a pivotal role in driving Axis forces from French soil during World War II. We're forever indebted to the veterans of this "Greatest Generation" and their sacrifice for a free and stable Europe. Such port visits not only serve to commemorate our heritage and the defeat of tyranny in Europe, but also enhance U.S.-France relations as the two nations work together for a stable, secure, and prosperous region. ", said CDR Charles Hampton, commanding officer of Donald Cook upon arrival in France.
Donald Cook participated in a community relations (COMREL) project at Rhone American Cemetery, hosted a reception for the US Consul General, and participated in various other ceremonies around the area. In addition this port visit provided another opportunity to meet with the people of France and to experience the rich history and culture of France.
USS Donald Cook is the first of four Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers to be forward deployed to Rota, Spain, and is on its third routine patrol in the US Sixth Fleet area of operations. Currently, Donald Cook is assigned to Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2), conducting naval operations in support of NATO's counter-terrorism operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR.