Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus visited Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage (DDG 61) while the ship was moored in Souda Bay, Greece, Nov. 15.
While aboard, he promoted six Ramage Sailors, presented Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist pins to seven others, reenlisted one additional Sailor and briefly toured the ship.
He also held an all-hands call, emphasizing the importance of having the right platforms in the Fleet, the people who serve aboard those platforms and the value of building lasting partnerships.
Mabus then answered questions from the audience and thanked them for their efforts in the U.S. European Command area of responsibility.
“I cannot tell you how vital the work that you are doing is,” said Mabus, “not only to our country, but to our partners in the region.”
Mabus also said there is a tremendous demand for Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers, like USS Ramage, due to its adaptability to a wide range of missions.
“These DDGs are the backbone of our fleet,” said Mabus. “They provide us with one of the most flexible, one of the most lethal, platforms our Navy has ever had.”
“What these platforms give us, and more importantly what the people aboard these platforms give us, is presence. That’s what the Navy can uniquely provide,” he said. “We’re not just in the right place at the right time, we’re in the right place all the time.”
USS Ramage, homeported in Norfolk, Va., is on a scheduled deployment supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.
Mabus’ visit to the ship is part of a multi-nation visit to the U.S. European, Africa and Central Command areas of responsibility focused on reinforcing existing partnerships and visiting Sailors and Marines providing forward presence.
Press Release, November 18, 2013; Image: US Navy