Earlier this morning the United States Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Bulkeley (DDG-84) is visiting Malta today till Monday 12th February.
The port visit marks Bulkeley’s first in 2024, as the ship continues its regularly scheduled patrol in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations.
Bulkeley’s port visit allows the U.S. to build on its important relationship with Malta and affords the ship’s crew an opportunity to experience the local culture.
She bears Vice Admiral John D. Bulkeley’s name, who was awarded the Medal of Honor.
The 34th destroyer in its class is this vessel. Commencing on May 10, 1999, USS Bulkeley was the fifteenth vessel of its type to be constructed at Ingalls Shipbuilding located in Pascagoula, Mississippi. On June 21, 2000, she was launched, and on June 24, 2000, she was christened. Under the direction of Commander Carlos Del Toro, she was commissioned on December 8, 2001, at a ceremony held on the pier of the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum in New York City.
The ship is now under the command of Cmdr. Richard D. Slye and has been based in Naval Station Rota, Spain since August 2022.
“Patrol has been a very professionally rewarding experience for this hardworking crew, I can think of no better opportunity than a stop in beautiful Malta to see and experience this beautiful country.”Cmdr. Richard Slye, commanding officer of USS Bulkeley.
This is the second time the vessel visited Malta, in fact it was 20 years ago nearly the exact date that Bulkeley visited the Grand Harbour for the first time, the ship had visited between the 4th and 8th February 2004, in the image below the destroyer is seen leaving Valletta on the 8th February 2004.
Bulkeley was operating with Carrier Strike Group 12 and USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) throughout the Sixth Fleet area of responsibility. Bulkeley also escorted the Mount Whitney (LCC 20) and the USS Bataan (LHD-5) on separate missions.
The squadron embedded aboard the Bulkeley are the “Griffins” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 79. Bulkeley is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe area of operations, employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend U.S., Allied, and partner interests.
For over 80 years, NAVEUR-NAVAF has forged strategic relationships with allies and partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability.
Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.