Brooklyn-born Petty Officer 2nd Class Dramatic Allen is serving our country in the Navy, living on the coast of Spain, and participating in a critical ballistic-missile-defense mission for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization while assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS Ross.
Seaman Allen is a culinary specialist aboard one of the four advanced warships forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, a small village on the country’s southwest coast 65 miles south of the city of Seville.
A Navy culinary specialist is responsible for food stores inventory, ordering ingredients, and preparing three meals a day for the entire crew of the ship.
Allen credits success in the Navy with lessons learned growing up in Brooklyn.
“Growing up in Brooklyn, I learned how to adapt to my environment no matter the situation and to treat people with respect,” he said.
The four destroyers are forward-deployed in Rota to fulfill the United States’s phased commitment to Nato ballistic-missile defense, while also carrying out a wide range of missions to support the security of Europe.
According to the Nato website, many countries have, or are trying to develop, ballistic missiles. The ability to acquire these capabilities does not necessarily mean there is an immediate intent to attack Nato, but that the alliance has a responsibility to take any possible threat into account as part of its core task of collective defense.
U.S. Navy Aegis ballistic-missile defense provides scalability, flexibility, and mobility. These systems are equally beneficial to U.S. assets, allies and regional partners in all areas of the world. Positioning four ballistic-missile defense ships in Spain provides an umbrella of protection to forward-deployed forces, friends, and allies, while contributing to a broader defense of the United States.
Guided-missile destroyers are 510-feet long warships that provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities. The ships are armed with tomahawk cruise missiles, advanced gun systems, close-in gun systems, and long-range missiles to counter the threat to friendly forces posed by manned aircraft, anti-ship, cruise, and tactical ballistic missiles.
Destroyers are deployed globally and can operate independently or as part of carrier-strike groups, surface-action groups, or amphibious-readiness groups. Their presence helps the Navy control the sea. Sea control is the necessity for everything the Navy does. The Navy cannot project power, secure the commons, deter aggression, or assure allies without the ability to control the seas when and where desired.
The ship is named after Capt. Donald Kirby Ross, who was presented a Medal of Honor by Adm. Chester Nimitz for his actions during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
“I’m proud to lead such a dedicated, experienced, resilient and mission-oriented crew,” said Cmdr. Bryan S. Gallo, commanding officer of USS Ross. “Team Ross always meets the mission while taking care of each other and having a fun time doing it.”
Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Allen, who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Allen is honored to carry on that family tradition.
“My sister is also serving in the Navy as a hospital corpsman,” said Allen. “She told me it would be a great opportunity to leave home and step out of my comfort zone.”