NORFOLK, Va. — The USS Donald Cook, USS Ross and USS Porter will be rotating out of the Mediterranean Sea between 2020 and 2022, according to Navy Times, USNI News, Stars and Stripes and UPI.
The guided missile destroyers have been serving in the Mediterranean and stationed in Rota, Spain, under the U.S. phased adaptive approach to ballistic missile defense plan that began in 2014.
"The U.S. Navy plans to rotate the...currently Forward Deployed Naval Force-Europe ships with newer, modernized ships in order to posture the most capable forces forward in the U.S. European Command area of responsibility," the Navy's 6th Fleet said in a release.
It is believed the ships will return to their original homeport of Norfolk, where it's expected they'll be overhauled and upgraded.
"It is good news because those that are coming back are going to go into an availability somewhere," said Bill Crow President of the Virginia Ship Repair Association. "Those ships that have been over there have been over there a while. They have gone through availabilities over there while they were in the Mediterranean or in Rota, but, when they come back, it will be time to do their complete modernizations."
The retired Navy captain said after years of much budgetary uncertainty, this is exactly the kind of news the 290 companies in his association want to hear.
"It's believed that will keep our market stable and the work stable here in the port," he said. "And it's hoped it will be that way."
Additionally, according to the reports, a fourth destroyer, the USS Carney, will return to its original homeport of Mayport, Florida.