Commander of NATO`s counter-piracy Task Force 508, Commodore Henning Amundsen, visited USS DE WERT Tuesday 26 November in advance of the ship’s departure from NATO’s counter-piracy Operation OCEAN SHIELD this week.
Commodore Amundsen thanked DE WERT’s commanding officer, CDR Joseph C. Thomas, and his crew for their outstanding dedicated support to multinational counter-piracy operations, wishing them a safe trip to their homeport, Mayport, Florida.
“It has been a pleasure working together with you these last past months,” said Commodore Amundsen, addressing the crew. “You have showed excellent seamanship, flexibility and great effort in our joint effort in countering piracy. I wish you the best in the future and a merry Christmas.”
USS DE WERT joined Operation OCEAN SHIELD on 2 August 2013. During DE WERT’s deployment, pirates took advantage of better weather conditions to step up their efforts to attack merchant shipping, but they were unsuccessful due in part to the vigilance of DE WERT and the rest of TF-508, as well as the efforts of additional counter-piracy task forces and independent deployers operating in the area. DE WERT will depart for home on Tuesday, 3 December.
“We are honored to have supported NATO’s counter-piracy mission,” said Commander Thomas. “It was great to work with our allies to make this vital area of the world safer for commerce and to help provide stability in a turbulent region. This will be the final cruise for the DE WERT, and I could not think of a better mission to conclude this ship’s operational history.”
Press Release, December 2, 2013; Image: NATO ACO