The commanding officers of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Ross and USS Porter received phone calls from President Donald J. Trump on Sunday.
The president called to thank the commanding officers, Cmdr. Russell Caldwell and Cmdr. Andria Slough, and their crews for their professionalism and quick response in the cruise missile strike against Shayrat airfield in western Syria, April 7, 2017.
This strike was in response to the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime.
According to Bloomberg, the U.S. destroyers rehearsed firing missiles toward the Syrian airbase twice before Trump signed the order to launch.
USS Ross, commanded by Caldwell, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, departed on its fifth forward-deployed patrol April 3, 2017, and is conducting routine patrols in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe.
Caldwell took command of Ross on November 12, 2015, and is scheduled to be relieved by the current executive officer, Cmdr. Brian Gallo, in a ceremony onboard the ship April 11 in port Larnaca, Cyprus.
USS Porter, commanded by Slough, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, departed on its third forward-deployed patrol on November 30, 2016, and is conducting routine patrols in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe.
Slough took command of Porter on January 28, 2016. In February, Porter went to the Black Sea and participated in the Romanian led exercise Sea Shield. In March, Porter participated in the multilateral Allied Maritime Command anti-submarine, anti-surface warfare Exercise Dynamic Manta 2017. Also in March, Porter was awarded the 2016 Atlantic Fleet "Bloodhound" award, signifying the best ship in the fleet at anti-submarine warfare.