USS Ross (DDG-71)

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For other ships with the same name, see USS Ross.
USS Ross (DDG-71) (2).jpg
USS Ross in 2005
United States
Name: USS Ross
Namesake: Captain Donald K. Ross
Ordered: 8 April 1992
Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Mississippi
Laid down: 10 April 1995
Launched: 22 March 1996
Commissioned: 28 June 1997
Homeport: Rota, Spain
Motto: Fortune Favors Valor
Nickname(s): "Quad Cruiser"
Status: in active service
Badge: USS Ross DDG-71 Crest.png
General characteristics
Class and type: Arleigh Burke-class destroyer
  • Light: approx. 6,800 long tons (6,900 t)
  • Full: approx. 8,900 long tons (9,000 t)
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)
Sensors and
processing systems:
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Aircraft carried: 2 Sikorsky MH-60R helicopters can be embarked

USS Ross (DDG-71) is an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer in the United States Navy. She is named for Medal of Honor recipient Donald K. Ross, the second Navy ship of the name. This ship is the 21st destroyer of its class. USS Ross was the 10th ship of this class to be built at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and construction began on 10 April, 1995. She was launched on 22 March 1996 and was christened on 10 April 1996. On 28 June 1997, she was commissioned from Galveston, Texas.


After commissioning, Ross set sail for a Combat Systems Ship Qualification Trial, which lasted six weeks, and then sailed back to Pascagoula for three months for her Post Shakedown Availability (PSA). She was then returned to her homeport of Portsmouth, Virginia and completed the Basic Training Phase: Engineering Certification, CART II, TSTA I, and III, Cruise Missile Tactical Qualification, Final Evaluation Period (FEP), and Logistics Management Assessment.

Ross completed her Intermediate Training Phase and set sail early in 1999 as part of Carrier Group 8, led by USS Theodore Roosevelt. The group sortied for a Joint Task Force Exercise to prepare for an upcoming six-month deployment set to commence on 26 March 1999. During this deployment to the Mediterranean Sea and Adriatic Sea Ross participated in Operation Allied Force. On 22 September she returned to Naval Station Norfolk.

On 15 May 2000 she set sail for Northern Europe in order to participate in the Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2000. She served as the flagship for the Commander of Carrier Group Eight, and together with the destroyer USS Peterson operated with more than 50 ships from the numerous European countries. During these exercises Ross visited Stockholm, Sweden and Kiel, Germany before returning to the United States in late June.

On 16 October 2001, Ross was deployed to the Mediterranean Sea and Persian Gulf in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and conducting operations in support of the U.N. resolutions against Iraq. During this deployment, Ross was again part of the USS Theodore Roosevelt Battle Group.

On 6 June 2005, a .50 caliber machine gun on her deck fired while leaving a shipyard. The single .50 caliber bullet struck a nearby barge and two washing machines within the barge. The gun was discharged while performing a check on its firing operation.[1]

Later in 2005, Ross participated in UNITAS 47-06 in place of the cruiser USS Thomas S. Gates due to the damage to Pascagoula created by Hurricane Katrina. Ross enjoyed liberty in Curaçao, St. Maarten, and Rio de Janeiro while participating in the multi-ship exercise with naval forces from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Spain, and Uruguay. During the return home, Ross encountered heavy seas at high speeds resulting in a tear in her hull. The crew isolated her flooding and performed de-watering during the remainder of the journey up the Atlantic coast eventually arriving in Norfolk in time for Thanksgiving.

In 2006, Ross returned from a six month deployment to the Mediterranean Sea as part of Standing NATO Maritime Group 1. She conducted over 850 vessel queries, commanded over 17 different ships from various nations, performed over 40 helicopter landings and takeoffs and 41 port visits to six different countries and 14 different ports. From 1 May 2006 to 7 November 2006, Ross traveled over 64,000 nautical miles (119,000 km; 74,000 mi). In Alicante, Spain in August 2006, Ross became the group flagship, embarking the American commander of the standing maritime group. Her mission was to perform as part of Operation Active Endeavour; deterring terrorism, smuggling and human trafficking in the Mediterranean.

In September 2014, responding to turmoil in Ukraine, the U.S. Navy announced that a guided missile destroyer had entered the Black Sea in order to participate with Ukrainian ships in the naval exercise "Sea Breeze". USS Ross "serves to demonstrate the United States’ commitment to strengthening the collective security of NATO allies and partners in the region," the Navy said in a press release.[2]

In November 2014, three sailors from USS Ross were attacked while ashore in the port of Istanbul, apparently by members of the Turkey Youth Union.[3]

In May 2015, Ross was buzzed by a pair of Russian Su-24 Fencers at a distance of 500 meters while the ship was on-station in the Black Sea.[4] Russian Federation State media RIA Novosti quoted a military source, which claimed that USS Ross had acted aggressively and was scared away by the bombers. The US Navy published a statement, denying the Russian claims and pointing out that the ship was in international waters and did not deviate from its operations.[5]

On 21 October 2015, Ross intercepted a Terrier missile as part of ASD-15 anti-ballistic missile testing in the North Sea.[6]


On 12 November 2009, the Missile Defense Agency announced that Ross would be upgraded during Fiscal Year 2012 to RIM-161 Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) capability in order to function as part of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System.[7]

Commanding officers[edit]

The Commanding Officer (CO) of USS Ross is the most senior officer that is in command of the ship. Sailors will refer to the CO as "the Captain" (regardless of rank), or sometimes informally as "Skipper". Below is the list of commanding officers of USS Ross.

# Name Start End
13 CDR Russell J. Caldwell 12 November 2015 Present
12 CDR Tadd H. Gorman 5 May 2014 12 November 2015
11 CDR Stacey W. Yopp 7 November 2012 5 May 2014
10 CDR David J. Wickersham 9 June 2011 7 November 2012
9 CDR Doyle K. Hodges 1 December 2009 9 June 2011
8 CDR Douglas A. McGoff 3 June 2008 1 December 2009
7 CDR Paul A. Stader 7 December 2006 3 June 2008
6 CDR Jay D. Shaffer 31 March 2005 7 December 2006
5 CDR Lisa M. Franchetti 12 September 2003 31 March 2005
4 CDR Michael J. Salvato 26 December 2001 12 September 2003
3 CDR Michael D. Hawley 10 June 2000 26 December 2001
2 CDR David M. Thomas Jr. 19 December 1998 10 June 2000
1 CDR Jeffrey R. Ginnow 28 June 1997 19 December 1998

Coat of Arms[edit]

USS Ross DDG-71 Crest.png


The shield is in the shape of a hexagon with a gold background and blue trim. The center of the shield consists of an inverted silver star, anchor and crossing red lightning bolts.

The traditional Navy colors were chosen for the shield because dark blue and gold represents the sea and excellence respectively. The anchor represents the anchorage at Pearl Harbor, which brought the United Stated into World War II after being attacked December 7, 1941. The propeller represents Warrant Officer Ross and a Navy Machinist badge signifies the post he held at the time of action. The inverted silver star stands for his heroism during the attack and the Medal of Honor he won for valor on board the battleship USS Nevada. The shields shape refers to the AEGIS combat system of DDG-71. The color gold represents excellence, while red denotes courage and sacrifice.


The crest consists of a griffin holding a trident with a red and gold framing below.

The griffin, denotes vigilance, intelligence, and valor, reflects USS Ross’ versatile operational capabilities. The griffin holds a trident to represent the ships offensive equipment with exceptional firepower. The color gold represents excellence.


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

The ships motto is "Fortune Favors Valor ". The motto is a reference to both the honorable feats of Admiral Ross 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 ROSS" at the top and "DDG 71" in the base all gold.


This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain. The entry can be found here.

External links[edit]