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US destroyer arrives in Spain for NATO shield

MADRID (AP) -- The first of four U.S. destroyers forming part of NATO's new anti-missile shield for Europe has arrived at a southern Spanish naval base used by the U.S. Navy.

A statement on NATO's website said the USS Donald Cook, a multi-mission Missile Defense-capable Aegis Destroyer, arrived Tuesday at Rota base, where it will be permanently based.

NATO said three similar ships will be sent to Rota over the next two years. The ships have advanced sensor capabilities and interceptor missiles that can detect and shoot down ballistic missiles.

The shield system was designed to counter an Iranian missile threat. It also has elements in Romania, Poland and Turkey and an operational headquarters in Germany.

Russia opposes the shield and calls for guarantees it will not be the target.

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