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Welcome Aboard

Congratulations on receiving orders to the USS DONALD COOK, on behalf of the entire crew, I extend to you a warm welcome. I expect you will find your tour of duty onboard the Navy’s finest Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer a challenging and rewarding one. You will be joining a team of dedicated professionals who take tremendous pride in their ship.  As Commanding Officer, I can assure you that your talents are needed and welcomed. Below you will find important information that will assist you and your family with executing your orders and ultimately a smooth move overseas to Rota, Spain.

Sponsor Information
Please contact the sponsor coordinator at sponsor@ddg75.navy.mil, to be assigned a sponsor.  Helpful information to include in this initial contact is: civilian contact information (personnel e-mail), number of dependents, if you have any pets, and any initial concerns with executing your orders, this information will be used to assign the appropriate sponsor; someone with the same dependent status so that everyone in your family will have someone to reach out to as well.  We aim for our sponsorship program to be a family wide event. Your sponsor will also e-mail an Electronic Welcome aboard package, this package will answer many questions and provide useful information to make your relocation as pleasant and trouble free as possible.  The Welcome Aboard package can also be found at the following web address https://issuu.com/navstarota/docs/welcome_aboard_2017_final.  Moving overseas presents many unique challenges especially with an entire family; but if properly planned as a family those challenges become easily overcome.  Our Command Master Chief is also available to assist you at cmc@ddg75.navy.mil.  If you are married and your spouse has any questions or just wants to connect with other souses, have your spouse contact DONALD COOK’s Ombudsman, via email  at cookombudsman75@yahoo.com or you can provide your sponsor with their contact information and it will get passed on to the Ombudsman.  Opening this line of communication between your spouse and the Ombudsman puts them in contact with a wide variety of information from those who have gone through the process of moving overseas. Please keep in contact with your sponsor and provide any changes or updates as necessary and for any assistance you may require during your transfer to  USS DONALD COOK home ported in Rota, Spain.
Overseas Screenings
All active duty service members must be screened for overseas sea duty prior to transfer. Dependents must also be screened at a military treatment facility by a qualified physician (not an IDC). Hand carry the medical screening paperwork with you as you travel, these will need to be shown at Rota Hospital Patient Admin for check in upon arrival. Be advised that the final approval for dependents overseas screening is at the discretion of Naval Hospital Rota, Spain. It is imperative to start the screening process early and ensure it is completed accurately. If enrolled in the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP), please notify us as soon as possible.
Housing
If you are new or relocating to the Rota, Spain area, you should communicate with Housing Service Center Rota at HSC via e-mail at rotahousing@eu.navy.mil. Families are required to obtain temporary accommodations upon arrival; your reservations should be made and verified prior to arrival. Temporary accommodations are available at the Navy Lodge, Gateway Inns and Suites or approved commercial facilities.
Applying for on-base family housing may be submitted at the House Service Center (HSC) or prior to arrival using the Housing Early Application Tools (HEAT) application, HEAT is available to any service member at all Navy installations. HEAT does not place you on a wait list and cannot improve your position on a housing wait list.  If an application is submitted within 30 days of arriving, the member’s effective date on the waiting list is the date of detachment from the last permanent duty station. Applicants need to be confirmed upon arrival.  Applications are available at the HSC and must be submitted with a copy of the PCS orders, detaching endorsement and a copy of the record of emergency data (page 2) and page 13, command sponsorship letter.  HEAT can be found which can be found at http://www.cnic.navy.mil/heat. 
All personnel who reside off base, whether temporarily or permanently, must process through the HSC. Within walking distance of the local beaches there are apartments, chalets with balconies and detached homes with fireplaces, courtyards and pools. Besides Rota, housing can also be found in El Puerto de Santa María, Chipiona, Sanlúcar de Barrameda and Jerez. Living in one of these communities might provide greater privacy and more space.  Homes.mil is an official Department of Defense (DOD) website that helps service members find rental listings. You may visit Homes.mil to see available listings in Rota and surrounding areas.  The HSC counselors will assist in locating residence on the economy by: Providing a list of approved houses/apartments, providing showing services (Monday through Friday) to help locate off-base housing (Be advised the HSC does not provide car seats), Negotiating rental contracts, and explaining the lease agreements.
Pay Matters
Save your money and keep all your reimbursable receipts to include your flight itenerary! All pays, allowances, and reimbursements are going to take time to process. You will need money to cover basic needs while waiting for all of these pays to process. In addition, if moving off base and out in town, you will need advance rent and deposit to sign a lease.  Fleet and Family Service Center Rota, Spain is familiar with these costs and can provide assistance as necessary.
ID Cards
Be advised. Make sure you and all dependent military ID cards are current, if close to expiration; get new ones prior to transferring to Spain.
Tourist Passports
It is strongly recommended that active duty members obtain a tourist passport prior to their arrival in Rota if they don’t already have one. International travel (even on duty status) can be challenging, if not impossible, without a passport.  Dependents will be required to obtain a No-Fee (Government) passport prior to your transfer date.  It is highly recommended that all dependents obtain a tourist passport as well prior to the arrival in Spain.  No-Fee passports are not authorized to be used for personnel travel around Europe.
Upon Arrival
Upon your arrival, either your sponsor or a ship representative (if the ship is out-to-sea) will meet you at the airport if flying commercial or at the Rota terminal if flying on the Patriot Express commonly referred to as the Rotator.  Your first three stops with your sponsor upon arrival to Naval Station Rota should be 1) U.S. Naval Hospital Rota, 2) Base Admin located in Building 1 (on the second floor) for a mandatory Command Sponsorship Letter also known as a Page 13 (not applicable to single Sailors), 3) Spanish security’s Pass and I.D. department to receive your Spanish I.D. cards (TEI) to get on/off base and access to multiple base facilities.  For check-in to PSD and Security, please bring the following paperwork:
·         Medical overseas screening.
·         OPNAV N130 (or N451) letter authorizing sponsor to move family to Rota in advance of their permanent change of station (if applicable).
·         Power of Attorney (only if activity duty sponsor will not be present).
·         PCS Orders.
·         Military and dependents ID cards.
·         U.S. driver’s licenses.
·         No fee passports (for all dependents).
·         Page 13 (base Admin in Bldg 1 will generate this, then bring it to all other offices for check-in).
If you are bringing a vehicle to Spain, please bring the following:
·         Valid U.S. registration.
·         Valid U.S. driver’s license.
·         Valid vehicle insurance card (green card – Note: Check with your insurance company and see if they offer insurance for Spain). 
·         Valid U.S. license plates on the vehicle.
·         Power of Attorney (if active duty sponsor will not be present).
This may all seem overwhelming at first glance but if planned, and organized with plenty of time transferring overseas to Rota, Spain will be like moving next door.  Keep your sponsor informed and ask any questions or inform them of any challenges you may encounter.  There is a team of Sponsor Coordinators onboard and a wealth of information in our Command Ombudsman and their teams please utilize these resources.  Once again Welcome Abo