USS Donald Cook

USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) is an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer in the United States Navy named for Medal of Honor recipient Colonel Donald Cook. This ship is the 25th destroyer of her class. USS Donald Cook was the 14th ship of this class to be built at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, where construction began on 9 July 1996. She was launched and christened on 3 May 1997. On 4 December 1998 she was commissioned at Penn’s Landing Pier in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

US Navy 050715-N-8163B-009 The guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) conducts a close quarters exercise while underway in the Atlantic Ocean.jpg
USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) underway
United States
Name: USS Donald Cook
Namesake: Donald Cook
Ordered: 19 January 1993
Builder: Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine
Laid down: 9 July 1996
Launched: 3 May 1997
Acquired: 21 August 1998
Commissioned: 4 December 1998
Homeport: Naval Station Rota
Motto: Faith Without Fear
Status: in active service
General characteristics
Class and type: Arleigh Burke-class destroyer
  • Light: approx. 6,765 tons
  • Full: approx. 8,900 tons
Length: 505 ft (154 m)
Beam: 66 ft (20 m)
Draft: 31 ft (9.4 m)
Propulsion: 4 General Electric LM2500-30 gas turbines, two shafts, 100,000 total shaft horsepower (75 MW)
Speed: >30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)
Sensors and
processing systems:
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Aircraft carried: 1 × SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopter can be embarked

On 16 February 2012, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced Donald Cook will be one of four ships to be homeported at Naval Station Rota, Spain.[1] It was announced in January 2014 that the ship would arrive there in mid-February 2014.[2] In Rota she forms part of Destroyer Squadron 60.


On 24 February 2012, Donald Cook was awarded the 2011 Battle Efficiency "E" award.[3]

On 9 April 2014, U.S. military officials confirmed the deployment of Donald Cook to the Black Sea,[4] shortly after Russia's annexation of Crimea and amid the pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine. The U.S. Department of Defense's official statement said that the vessel's mission was "to reassure NATO allies and Black Sea partners of America’s commitment to strengthen and improve interoperability while working towards mutual goals in the region".[5] On 10 April 2014, the warship was reported to have entered the Black Sea.[6] On 12 April 2014, an unarmed Russian Su-24 "Fencer" fighter jet made twelve close-range passes of USS Cook during a patrol of the western Black Sea.[7][8] According to an allegation by a Pentagon spokesman, "The aircraft did not respond to multiple queries and warnings from Donald Cook, and the event ended without incident after approximately 90 minutes... The Donald Cook is more than capable of defending itself against two Su-24s."[9] In 2014, Russia′s state-run news media outlets ran a series of reports that falsely asserted that during that incident the Su-24, equipped with the Khibiny electronic warfare system, had disabled the ship's Aegis combat systems. The misinformation was later picked up by the British tabloid The Sun and by Fox News, and later reported as Russian propaganda by The New York Times.[10]

On 14 April 2014, Donald Cook visited Constanta, Romania. The President of Romania, Traian Băsescu, toured the ship during the visit. Donald Cook then conducted various exercises in concert with the Romanian Navy before departing the Black Sea on 24 April 2014.[11]

On 26 December 2014, for the second time, according to the U.S. Navy, the destroyer entered the Black Sea in order to reassure and demonstrate U.S. commitment to work closely with NATO allies.[12] Donald Cook participated in exercises with the Turkish Navy including an underway replenishment and other exercises with Yavuz-class frigate TCG Fatih on 28 December 2014. The ship visited Constanta, Romania on 30 December and Varna, Bulgaria on 8 January 2015. Donald Cook participated in exercises with Ukrainian Navy ship Hetman Sahaydachniy on 11 January 2015. Donald Cook departed the Black Sea on 14 January 2015.[13]

A Russian Sukhoi Su-24 attack aircraft makes a very-low altitude pass by USS Donald Cook 12 April 2016.

On 11 and 12 April 2016 a pair of Russian Su-24s performed several low-altitude passes on Donald Cook while the ship was conducting exercises with a Polish helicopter in international waters in the Baltic Sea 70 nautical miles (130 km; 81 mi) off Kaliningrad. A Russian Ka-27 "Helix" anti-submarine helicopter also circled the destroyer seven times. The U.S. Navy released photos and videos of the incident on 14 April, and the U.S. government lodged a complaint with the Russian government.[14][15] In response to the U.S. Secretary of State commenting on the incident and saying that "under the rules of engagement, that could have been a shoot-down",[16] the Russian Federation Council's official Igor Morozov said that the U.S. likewise "ought to know that Donald Cook approached our borders and may already be unable to depart those."[17]

On 26 February 2019, the ship hosted U.S. diplomats Gordon Sondland, Marie Yovanovitch, Kurt Volker, EU's Jean Christophe-Belliard and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, and others.[18]


On 12 November 2009, the Missile Defense Agency announced that Donald Cook would be upgraded during fiscal 2012 to RIM-161 Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) capability in order to function as part of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System.[19]

Coat of armsEdit


The shield has background of dark blue with a light blue trim. A reversed star hangs above a gauntlet hoisting a broken chain and crossing sword. Missiles surround the shield.

The traditional Navy colors were chosen for the shield because dark blue and gold represents the sea and excellence respectively. Red is also included to signify valor and sacrifice. The armoured gauntlet holding a broken chain exemplifies Colonel Cook’s gallantry and indomitable spirit in captivity as a prisoner of war to the Viet Cong. He put the interests of his comrades before his own life. The crossed swords denote spirit and teamwork as well as U.S. Navy and Marine Corps heritage. The U.S. Marine Corps officers' Mameluke sword is representative of Colonel Cook’s Marine service. The light blue upside-down star symbolizes Cook’s earned Medal of Honor for his spirit, sacrifice, and heroism.


The crest consists of an eagle surrounded by red tridents.

The eagle is symbolic to the principles of freedom which our country was founded, highlighting military vigilance and national defense. The trident represents sea power and her AEGIS firepower which brings the capability of conducting operations in multi threat environments.


The motto is written on a scroll of gold that has a red reverse side.

The ships motto is "Faith without Fear". The motto is a reference to both the honorable feats of Colonel Cook and the Medal of Honor he received.


The coat of arms in full color as in the blazon, upon a white background enclosed within a dark blue oval border edged on the outside with a gold rope and bearing the inscription "USS DONALD COOK" at the top and "DDG 75" in the base all gold.


  1. ^ "Navy Names Forward Deployed Ships to Rota, Spain" (Press release). United States Navy. 16 February 2012.
  2. ^ "USS Donald Cook Departs Norfolk for Permanent Station in Rota, Spain". Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  3. ^ Garcia, Rosalie (1 March 2012). "Naval Surface Forces Announces 2011 Battle E Awardees". United States Navy.
  4. ^ Starr, Barbara (9 April 2014). "U.S. Navy ship to arrive in Black Sea by Thursday". CNN.
  5. ^ Marshall, Tyrone C. (9 April 2014). "USS Donald Cook Heads for Reassurance Mission in Black Sea". American Forces Press Service. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  6. ^ "US destroyer Donald Cook enters Black Sea amid Ukraine tension". RT. 10 April 2014.
  7. ^ Ryan, Missy (14 April 2014). "Russian jet's passes near U.S. ship in Black Sea 'provocative' -Pentagon". Reuters. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  8. ^ Mulrine, Anna (15 April 2014). "Russian aircraft buzz US Navy destroyer: How big a deal?". Christian Science Monitor.
  9. ^ Garamone, Jim (14 April 2014). "Russian Aircraft Flies Near U.S. Navy Ship in Black Sea". American Forces Press Service. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  10. ^ MacFarQuhar, Neil; Rossback, Andrew (7 June 2017). "How Russian Propaganda Spread From a Parody Website to Fox News". The New York Times.
  11. ^ "USS Donald Cook Departs Black Sea". 24 April 2014.
  12. ^ "US Naval Forces Europe – Africa/US 6th fleet: USS Donald Cook to enter Black Sea". KyivPost. 26 December 2014.
  13. ^ Schumacher, Daniel (14 January 2015). "USS Donald Cook Departs Black Sea".
  14. ^ Vincent, Michael (14 April 2016). "Russian jets conduct 'aggressive' passes of US warship in Baltic Sea, defence official says". ABC News. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  15. ^ United States European Command. "US Navy Ship Encounters Aggressive Russian Aircraft in Baltic Sea". United States Navy. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  16. ^ "Kerry: Shooting down Russia jets 'would have been justified'". 14 April 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2017 – via
  17. ^ В Совфеде и Госдуме ответили на угрозу США сбить облетевшие «Дональд Кук» Су-24, 15 April 2016.
  18. ^ Gordon Sondland. "Opening Statement before the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Committee on Oversight and Government Reform" (PDF). Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  19. ^ Ewing, Philip (12 November 2009). "MDA announces next 6 BMD ships". Navy Times.

Further readingEdit

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