Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stout (DDG 55) recorded the halfway point of her deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operation in Limassol, Dec. 24.
Since departing her homeport in Norfolk, Va., the ship has supported ballistic missile defense in the Mediterranean, participated in three multinational exercises, and maintained an active and vital presence in the area.
As explained by Cmdr. Robert Alpigini, Stout’s commanding officer, it is important to recognize the halfway point as a way to pause for reflection on the accomplishments thus far and at the same time celebrate the holidays.
The holiday festivities on the ship began on the mess decks with a large meal prepared by the ship’s culinary specialists.
After the meal, the entire crew gathered together on the flight deck for a large gift exchange. A number of organizations like Soldiers Angels, Project Santa, Jim and Rita Toepfer, Project Package, Vietnam Veterans of America and many more donated food, stockings, games, candy, cards, stuffed animals and a variety of other gifts so that each Sailor could open something.
Press Release, December 31, 2013; Image: Wikimedia