Guided-missile destroyers USS Stockdale (DDG 106) and USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) returned to their homeport of San Diego Nov. 8 following the completion of an extended deployment to the U.S. 5th, 6th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility (AOR).
Deployed since Jan. 14, the two ships and combined crews of more than 600 Sailors were assigned to Destroyer Squadron 23 and conducted operations with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group. The ships took part in a number of exercises, theater security cooperation, and maritime presence operations with partner nations.
Two detachments from Maritime Strike Squadron 75, embarked aboard William P. Lawrence and Stockdale returned to San Diego, Nov. 7.
“Of all the challenges the crew of William P. Lawrence faced, there was never a complaint or question of what we were tasked to do,” said Cmdr. Jana A. Vavasseur, William P. Lawrence’s commanding officer. “There were some really hard days throughout our 10 months, and those were the days when the crew shined the most.”
Upon their return, the two ships will conduct operations and training within U.S. 3rd Fleet’s 50-million square mile AOR.
“We had some special opportunities during this deployment that we didn’t anticipate when we left San Diego in January,” said Cmdr. Bo Johns, Stockdale’s commanding officer. “We are very excited to return home to our family and friends.”
U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the international date line and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.
Press Release, November 11, 2013; Image: US Navy