Inside the USS Donald Cook: The Navy’s Missile Destroyer That Could Strike Syria

April 13, 2018

The National Interest:

The Trump administration is weighing whether to launch a second punitive strike on Syria in response to an apparent chemical weapons attack on April 4 by the Syrian military targeting the rebel enclave of Douma in eastern Damascus.

If a strike is carried out, there is every reason to believe that destroyer USS Donald Cook may be its executor, as it is the only U.S. warship currently deployed nearby in the Mediterranean that is equipped with long-range Tomahawk cruise missiles.

The Cook could receive some unfriendly attention in return—something the ship’s crew of 276 may be familiar with after two tense earlier encounters with Russian jets. The Donald Cook, commissioned in December 4, 1998 as DDG 75, is one of sixty-five Arleigh Burke–class guided-missile destroyers actively serving in the U.S. Navy.

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