Guided-missile cruiser USS Cowpens (CG 63) and guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) returned to Naval Base San Diego April 17 following completion of separate deployments to the Western Pacific Ocean.
Last November, Cowpens and embarked Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 49 played a critical role in Operation Damayan, a joint service humanitarian assistance and disaster recovery mission, following Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in the Republic of the Philippines.
“I am very proud of the accomplishments of the crew. They have truly continued the fine legacy of Cowpens,” said Capt. Gregory Gombert, Cowpens’ commanding officer. “As we return home, we all look forward to spending time with loved ones.”
Spruance completed its maiden deployment to the Western Pacific by supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. The ship operated in the South and East China Seas, as well as the Yellow Sea, while conducting 11 port visits to seven countries. These theater security cooperation events contributed to the strengthening of relationships in the region.
Additionally, Sailors from Spruance rescued a Filipino mariner Jan. 18, who had fallen overboard from his vessel while transiting in the Singapore Strait.
“By every possible metric the women and men on board performed their duties exceptionally well,” said Cmdr. Dan Cobian, Spruance’s commanding officer. “I witnessed first-hand the incredible talent, flexibility and selfless dedication of the Spruance crew. I could not be prouder of each and every one of them.”
Press Release, April 18, 2014; Image: US Navy