The 350 crew of the U.S. Navy cruiser, Leyte Gulf, will be spending the New Year in Palma. The state-of-the-art warship will be arriving in Palma over the coming hours. USS Leyte Gulf is a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser.

She was named in memory of the World War II Battle of Leyte Gulf in the Pacific. She is powered by four large gas-turbine engines, and she has a large complement of guided missiles for air defence, attack of surface targets at sea and ashore, and anti-submarine warfare (ASW). In addition, she carries two "Seahawk" helicopters whose primary mission is anti-submarine warfare.

Her main role is to protect an aircraft carrier battle-group.

On 15 September 2007, there was a fire aboard Leyte Gulf as she underwent an extensive modernization program in BAE Systems Shipyard in Norfolk, Virginia. Initially the fire received national attention due to the possibility that it was a terrorist incident, however, it was quickly revealed to be an industrial accident. Five shipyard workers were injured in the incident, one seriously, but no naval personnel were involved.

In February 2011, Leyte Gulf was involved in an incident with Somali pirates after they captured the United States flagged yacht Quest.