In support of Navy ballistic missile defense (BMD) efforts abroad, Sailors and families from USS Porter (DDG 78) attended a series of briefings Oct. 21 at Naval Station Norfolk, prior to their impending move to Rota, Spain.
The event, which was the third such summit, hosted by Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic (SURFLANT) and Naval Station Rota (NAVSTA ROTA), included informational presentations along with question and answer sessions held by subject matter experts. Additional resources augmented the presentations to assist Sailors and their family members move to Spain.
Commander, Destroyer Squadron 60, Capt. Jim Aiken and the commanding officer of NAVSTA ROTA, Capt. Gregory Pekari, kicked off the briefs with an introduction on life in Rota.
"I think this is going to be a tremendous experience for you," said Aiken. "There are actual people here to answer your questions. This is an excellent opportunity to start planning."
"This is a great opportunity for you to get everything off your chest as you get ready to transition to another country," added Pekari.
Fourteen subject matter experts (SME) made the trip to Norfolk to assist the Sailors and Family Readiness Group members, and provide information about Rota, travel procedures and everything they need to accomplish prior to moving.
"The best thing you can do prior to coming over to Rota is be prepared," said Lt. Andrew Weiss, special assistant to the commanding officer at Naval Hospital Rota. "It’s an exciting place to live but there are a lot of variables in moving several thousand miles. By getting information in advance it’ll allow for the smoothest transition possible."
“This [briefing] gives you a chance to specifically engage with the people who can help remove obstacles from your move,” said Weiss. “Then when you get to Rota, you can chat with people that will be your neighbors or co-workers and you can start to develop relationships with the community before you’re even there.”