Guided-missile frigate USS Halyburton (FFG 40) returned to Mayport June 4 from a five-month deployment to U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations (AOR).
Deployed since Jan. 15, the officers and crew of Halyburton, in conjunction with Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 46 and U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachments, disrupted nine shipments of cocaine, totaling 1899 kilograms, in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Central and South America as part of Operation Martillo.
On Feb. 6, Halyburton assumed the role of search and rescue on-scene commander during the rescue of six Panamanians after a Panamanian navy helicopter crash-landed while monitoring an area of dense jungle terrain near where drug smugglers had beached their vessel.
While deployed in the 4th Fleet AOR, Halyburton completed port visits to Columbia, Honduras, Naval Station Guantanamo Bay and Aruba, enhancing relations with each of these countries while affording the crew the opportunity to explore their culture and history.
“Aside from our many mission successes, we qualified six surface warfare officers, 81 Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialists and promoted 13 of the 30 eligible candidates that took the Navy Wide Advancement Exams in March. Well done shipmates, I am very proud of each and every one of you,” said Cmdr. David Fowler, Halyburton commanding officer.
Upon return to homeport, the ship is set to start the decommissioning process. She is expected to decommission later this year.
Press Release, June 05, 2014; Image: Wikimedia