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.

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.

USS Donald Cook
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 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 makes a very-low altitude pass by the USS Donald Cook (DDG 75)
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 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.[18]

Coat of arms

USS Donald Cook DDG-75 Crest


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. ^ Ewing, Philip (12 November 2009). "MDA announces next 6 BMD ships". Navy Times.

Further reading

  • Sanders, Michael S. (1999). The Yard: Building a Destroyer at the Bath Iron Works. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-019246-1. (Describes the construction of Donald Cook at Bath Iron Works.)

External links

Bath Iron Works

Bath Iron Works (BIW) is a major United States shipyard located on the Kennebec River in Bath, Maine, founded in 1884 as Bath Iron Works, Limited. BIW has built private, commercial, and military vessels, most of which have been ordered by the United States Navy. The shipyard has built and sometimes designed battleships, frigates, cruisers, and destroyers, including the Arleigh Burke class which are currently among the world's most advanced surface warships.

Since 1995, Bath Iron Works has been a subsidiary of General Dynamics, the fifth-largest defense contractor in the world as of 2008. During World War II, ships built at BIW were considered to be of superior toughness by sailors and Navy officials, giving rise to the phrase "Bath-built is best-built."

Burial at sea

Burial at sea is the disposal of human remains in the ocean, normally from a ship or boat. It is regularly performed by navies, and is done by private citizens in many countries.

Burial-at-sea services are conducted at many different locations and with many different customs, either by ship or by aircraft. Usually, either the captain of the ship or aircraft or a religious representative (of the decedent's religion or the state religion) performs the ceremony.

The ceremony may include burial in a casket, burial sewn in sailcloth, burial in an urn, or scattering of the cremated remains from a ship. Burial at sea by aircraft is usually done only with cremated remains. Other types of burial at sea include the mixing of the ashes with concrete and dropping the concrete block to form an artificial reef such as the Atlantis Reef.

Below is a list of religions that allow burial at sea, with some details of the burial.

Carrier Strike Group 8

Commander, Carrier Strike Group 8, abbreviated as CCSG-8 or COMCARSTRKGRU 8, is one of five U.S. Navy carrier strike groups currently assigned to the United States Fleet Forces Command. Carrier strike groups gain and maintain sea control as well as project naval airpower ashore.As of 2018 the group flagship is the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75). The other units of the group are the guided-missile cruiser USS Hué City (CG-66), Carrier Air Wing One, and the ships of Destroyer Squadron 28.

Destroyer Squadron 60

Destroyer Squadron 60 (DESRON 60) is a destroyer squadron of the United States Navy. Destroyer Squadron 60 is one of three U.S. Navy destroyer squadrons permanently based outside the continental United States.

Donald Cook

Don(ald) Cook may refer to:

Donald Cook (Medal of Honor) (1934–1967), U.S. Marine and Vietnam War prisoner of war

USS Donald Cook (DDG-75), U.S. Navy destroyer named after the Medal of Honor recipient

Donald Cook (actor) (1901–1961), Broadway and film actor

Donald C. Cook (1909—1981), U.S. bureaucrat, chairman of American Electric Power

Donald C. Cook Nuclear Generating Station, power plant named after the bureaucrat and chairman of company

Donald G. Cook (born 1946), U.S. Air Force general

Don Cook (organist), organist and professor at Brigham Young University

Don Cook (born 1949), American record producer and song writer

Don Cook (journalist) (1920–1995), American foreign correspondent

Donald Cook (Medal of Honor)

Donald Gilbert Cook (August 9, 1934 – December 8, 1967) was a United States Marine Corps officer and a Medal of Honor recipient.

Frank Castellano

Francis Xavier "Frank" Castellano (born January 7, 1964) is a United States Navy captain currently assigned as the commanding officer of Center for Surface Combat Systems. Castellano is best known as the commander of the guided missile destroyer USS Bainbridge during the hijacking of the MV Maersk Alabama.

Captain Castellano was listed as executive officer of the USS Vella Gulf on May 5, 2014, during a holocaust memorial ceremony in Haifa, Israel. He was executive officer of Vella Gulf from December 2013 to April 2015 and was commanding officer from April 2015 to September 2015.

Guided missile destroyer

A guided-missile destroyer is a destroyer designed to launch guided missiles. Many are also equipped to carry out anti-submarine, anti-air, and anti-surface operations. The NATO standard designation for these vessels is DDG. Nations vary in their use of destroyer D designation in their hull pennant numbering, either prefixing or dropping it altogether. The U.S. Navy has adopted the classification DDG in the American hull classification system.

In addition to the guns, a guided-missile destroyer is usually equipped with two large missile magazines, usually in vertical-launch cells. Some guided-missile destroyers contain powerful radar systems, such as the United States’ Aegis Combat System, and may be adopted for use in an anti-missile or ballistic-missile defense role. This is especially true of navies that no longer operate cruisers, so other vessels must be adopted to fill in the gap.

List of active Ukrainian military aircraft

The following is a list of military aircraft currently in service with the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Figures are sourced from the latest annual editions of Flight International.

List of equipment of the United States Navy

The Equipment of the United States Navy have been subdivided into: watercraft, aircraft, munitions, vehicles, and small arms.

Naval Station Rota

Naval Station Rota, also known as NAVSTA Rota, (IATA: ROZ, ICAO: LERT) (Spanish: Base Naval de Rota), is a Spanish naval base commanded by a Spanish Rear Admiral and fully funded by the United States of America. Located in Rota in the Province of Cádiz, near the town of El Puerto de Santa María, NAVSTA Rota is the largest American military community in Spain, housing US Navy and US Marine Corps personnel. There are also small US Army and US Air Force contingents on the base.

Operation Ocean Shield

Operation Ocean Shield was NATO's contribution to Operation Enduring Freedom – Horn of Africa (OEF-HOA), an anti-piracy initiative in the Indian Ocean, Guardafui Channel, Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea. It follows the earlier Operation Allied Protector. Naval operations began on 17 August 2009 after being approved by the North Atlantic Council, the program was terminated on 15 December 2016 by NATO. Operation Ocean Shield focused on protecting the ships of Operation Allied Provider, which transported relief supplies as part of the World Food Programme's mission in the region. The initiative also helped strengthen the navies and coast guards of regional states to assist in countering pirate attacks. Additionally, China and South Korea sent warships to participate in these activities.

The US Navy was the largest contributor of ships, followed by the Indian Navy. The taskforce was composed of ships from the contributing navies, led by a designated leadship. The role of leadship was rotated among the various countries involved. In October 2015 this was the Turkish frigate TCG Gediz.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) is a naval auxiliary fleet owned by the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence and is one of the five fighting arms of the Royal Navy. Its purpose is to support the Royal Navy to maintain operations around the world. Its primary role is to supply the Royal Navy with fuel, ammunition and supplies, normally by replenishment at sea (RAS). It also transports Army and Royal Marine personnel, as well as supporting training exercises, and engaging in anti-piracy, anti-drug smuggling, and humanitarian operations.

The RFA counts an Aviation Training ship/Hospital Ship and landing vessels amongst its assets. RFA personnel are employees of the Ministry of Defence, and since 2003, special members of the Royal Naval Reserve deemed sponsored reserves, which are civilians who must be part of the Armed Forces in some capacity, in order to carry out specialist civilian jobs in a military capacity. Although RFA officers wear Merchant Navy rank insignia with naval uniforms, they are classed as a part of the naval service and are under naval discipline when the vessel is engaged on warlike operations. RFA vessels are commanded and crewed by these officers and ratings, augmented with regular and reserve Royal Navy personnel to perform specialised military functions such as operating and maintaining helicopters or providing hospital facilities. Royal Navy personnel are also needed to operate certain weapons, such as the Phalanx, however other weapons (such as the GPMG, Oerlikon 20 mm cannon, 30mm cannon and the 7.62 minigun) are operated by RFA personnel.

Russian reset

The Russian reset was an attempt by the Obama administration to improve relations between the United States and Russia in 2009.


In heraldry, supporters, sometimes referred to as attendants, are figures or objects usually placed on either side of the shield and depicted holding it up.

Early forms of supporters are found in medieval seals. However, unlike the coronet or helmet and crest, supporters were not part of early medieval heraldry. As part of the heraldic achievement, they first become fashionable towards the end of the 15th century, but even in the 17th century were not necessarily part of the full heraldic achievement (being absent, for example, in Siebmachers Wappenbuch of 1605).

The figures used as supporters may be based on real or imaginary animals, human figures, and in rare cases plants or other inanimate objects, such as the pillars of Hercules of the coat of arms of Spain. Often, as in other elements of heraldry, these can have local significance, such as the fisherman and the tin miner granted to Cornwall County Council, or a historical link; such as the lion of England and unicorn of Scotland in the two variations of the Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom. The arms of nutritionist John Boyd-Orr use two 'garbs' (wheat sheaves) as supporters; the arms of USS Donald Cook, missiles; the arms of the state of Rio Grande do Norte in Brazil, trees. Letters of the alphabet are used as supporters in the arms of Valencia, Spain. Human supporters can also be allegorical figures, or, more rarely, specifically named individuals.There is usually one supporter on each side of the shield, though there are some examples of single supporters placed behind the shield, such as the imperial eagle of the coat of arms of the Holy Roman Empire. The arms of the Congo provide an extremely unusual example of two supporters issuing from behind the shield. While such single supporters are generally eagles with one or two heads, there are other examples, including the cathedra in the case of some Canadian cathedrals. At the other extreme and even rarer, the Scottish chief Dundas of that Ilk had three supporters: two conventional red lions and the whole supported by a salamander. The coat of arms of Iceland even has four supporters.The context of the application of supporters may vary, although entitlement may be considered conditioned by grant of a type of augmentation of honour by admission in orders of chivalry or by heraldic authorities, such as in the case of traditional British heraldry.


UNITAS Gold was the 50th iteration of UNITAS, which began in 1959 and is the longest-running multilateral maritime exercise. The 2009 exercises included 25 ships and 70 aircraft from 12 nations and was the 50th time the operation was conducted.

Rear Admiral Joseph D. Kernan, then-Commander, U.S. Fourth Fleet and U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, remarked that UNITAS helps "nations coordinate efforts to oppose the scourge" of piracy.

USS Cook

Three ships of the United States Navy have been named Cook

USS Cook (APD-130), was launched on 26 August 1944. Named after two brothers: Andrew F. Cook, Jr. and Dallas H. Cook.

USS Cook (FF-1083), was launched on 23 January 1971. Named after Lieutenant Commander Wilmer Cook USN.Third ship, currently in commission, is named after Donald Cook, a Vietnam War POW:

USS Donald Cook, launched on 3 May 1997.

USS Tarawa (LHA-1)

USS Tarawa (LHA-1) is a United States Navy amphibious assault ship, the lead ship of her class, and the second ship to be named for the Battle of Tarawa during World War II. Tarawa was decommissioned on 31 March 2009, at San Diego Naval Base.

Flight I ships
Flight II ships
Flight IIA ships
Flight III ships


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