USS Donald Cook holds exercises with Italian assets to bolster interoperability

Italian Frigate Carlo Margottini (F592) conducted combined training with the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (Source: 6th Fleet)

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) conducted an interoperability exercise with the Italian Bergamini-class frigate ITS Carlo Margottini (F592) and two Italian AV-8B Harrier aircraft on Jan. 16, the U.S. Navy 6th Fleet shared.

In the vicinity of the Ionian Sea, Donald Cook and Margottini participated in a series of interoperability exercises, which tested the crews’ skills in multiple warfare areas, including air defense, anti-submarine warfare, and seamanship.

Two Italian AV-8B Harriers joined the ships to perform an air defense exercise, where aircraft controllers onboard each ship strategically maneuvered the aircraft above. Surface assets conducted a tactical data link exercise while simultaneously practicing replenishment at sea approaches. Donald Cook and Margottini ended the day using passive and active sonar to cooperatively hunt a simulated submarine.

The day’s events reaffirmed Donald Cook’s commitment to practicing interoperability with NATO allies and partners in the Sixth Fleet area of operations. Donald Cook often participates in multi-national exercises, the most recent being U.K.-led Exercise Joint Warrior in October 2020. This is the first time in several years that Donald Cook conducted a unilateral exercise with the Italian Navy.

The Margottini is a Bergamini-class frigate, also known as a FREMM, or “European multi-purpose frigate.” The United States’ new Constellation-class of guided-missile frigates, currently under development, is based on the FREMM frigate.

Donald Cook is currently on her 11th patrol of the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of responsibility in support of U.S. national interest and security in Europe and Africa.

Donald Cook is one of four U.S. Navy destroyers based in Rota, Spain, and assigned to Commander, Task Force 65 in support of NATO’s Integrated Air Missile Defense architecture. These Forward-Deployed Naval Forces-Europe ships have the flexibility to operate throughout the waters of Europe and Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope to the Arctic Circle, demonstrating their mastery of the maritime domain.

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