USS ROSS's keel was laid on April 10, 1995, in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and her christening was held one year later. ROSS's plank-owning crew moved aboard in April 1997 and sailed her to Galveston, Texas for the Commissioning on 28 June 1997. After commissioning, ROSS sailed on a six-week Combat Systems Ship Qualification Trial and then traveled back to Pascagoula for a three-month Post Shakedown Availability (PSA). ROSS returned to her homeport of Portsmouth, Virginia, and completed the Basic Training Phase to include several assessments and certifications.
ROSS completed the Intermediate Training Phase and in March 1999, she sailed with the THEODORE ROOSEVELT Battle Group for a Joint Task Force Exercise in preparation for a six-month deployment to participate in Operation Allied Force in the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas.
On May 15, 2000, she got underway to Northern Europe to participate in Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2000, serving as flagship for Commander Carrier Group Eight and operating with more than 50 ships from numerous European countries.
In September 2001, USS ROSS deployed to the Mediterranean Sea and Arabian Gulf supporting Operation Enduring Freedom and conducting operations in support of UN resolutions against Iraq. During the deployment, ROSS was again a part of the THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN 71) Battle Group.
On September 11, 2001, ROSS got underway on three-hour notice in response to the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. ROSS acted for a time as Regional Air Defense Commander in support of Commander, North American Air Defense Command. ROSS was also recognized that year with the prestigious Arizona Memorial Trophy for being the most combat ready ship in the US Navy.
Just weeks after the attacks, on October 17, 2001, ROSS deployed to the Mediterranean Sea in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. While deployed, ROSS played a crucial role in the global war on terrorism and provided much needed air defense and strike capabilities. Returning from deployment on April 16, 2002, ROSS maintained her combat readiness by participating in numerous exercises, including BALTOPS 2003 in the Baltic Sea, and completed the inter-deployment training cycle to prepare for her next deployment.
On April 30, 2004, ROSS left Norfolk, Virginia, on her third deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The ship completed four months of operations in the FIFTH and SIXTH Fleet areas of responsibility, conducting Maritime Interdiction Operations and participating in the ceremonies surrounding the 50th commemoration of the Allied assault at Normandy.
Shortly after her return in August 2004, ROSS commenced an accelerated basic training cycle and entered Metro Machine Shipyard for her first docking maintenance period from March through June 2005. In September 2005, she replaced USS THOMAS S. GATES (CG 51) as flagship for UNITAS 47-06 with two weeks’ notice, after a significant portion of GATES' crew was displaced in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. ROSS went to sea for a two-month deployment embarking Commander, Destroyer Squadron SIX, and sailing to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the multinational exercise. ROSS returned on Thanksgiving Day 2005 to prepare to participate in NEPTUNE WARRIOR 061 off the coast of Scotland in February 2006.
Upon return to Norfolk, ROSS’ crew had only one month to prepare for a six-month deployment in support of Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR in the Mediterranean Sea. ROSS deployed on May 1, 2006, as part of Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO (SNMG 2). During the deployment ROSS conducted more than 850 queries of merchant shipping, over 40 helicopter landings, and traveled more than 45,000 nautical miles. ROSS returned to Norfolk November 6, 2006.
In April 2007, ROSS entered BAE Shipyard for a two and a half month Selected Restricted Availability (SRA) during which she received the Tactical Tomahawk WCS (TTWCS), berthing modifications, and SHF SATCOM. ROSS conducted INSURV (Board of Inspection and Survey) and major Engineering inspections later that year. On February 20, 2008, ROSS deployed to the FIFTH and SIXTH Fleet areas of responsibility for a 5 1/2 month deployment in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
In 2014, ROSS shifted her homeport from Norfolk, VA, to Rota, Spain and began a regular patrol cycle. On 21 October 2015, ROSS intercepted a Terrier missile as part of ASD-15 anti-ballistic missile testing in the North Sea. ROSS spent the summer of 2017 conducting anti-submarine patrols around the Norwegian Sea and the Arctic Ocean. On 7 April 2017, Ross and Porter fired a total of 59 Tomahawk missiles from the Eastern Mediterranean Sea at specific military targets in Syria in response to the deaths of at least 80 civilians in the immediate aftermath of 4 April 2017 chemical attack by the Syrian regime. In 2019, ROSS received the “Battle E” award for excellence on the waterfront.
To date, ROSS has conducted ten patrols in the 6th Fleet area of responsibility, to include the Mediterranean, Baltic, Barents, and Black Seas and the Eastern Atlantic, in support of maritime security and regional partners.