The guided-missile destroyer USS Laboon (DDG 58) returned to Naval Station Norfolk, on July 24th, after a six-month deployment in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations (AOR).
The ballistic missile defense-equipped Laboon deployed to the Mediterranean Sea, Feb. 13. Upon arrival, the ship assumed Operation Sharp Sentry duties after relieving the guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67) in Rota, Spain.
Under the leadership of Cmdr. Christopher M. McCallum, the Laboon officers and crew conducted a variety of operations with multinational allies, including exercises with the French Horizon-class frigate Forbin (F 40), the Turkish Yavuz-class frigate TCG Yildirim (F 243), and the Israeli Sa’ar 4-class missile boats INS Keshet and Romach.
Logging more than 42,000 nautical miles, Laboon traversed every major choke point in the U.S. 6th Fleet AOR, from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Dardenelles and Bosporus Straits, for operations in the Black Sea.
Laboon led the way in improving interoperability and promoting regional maritime safety, security, and stability during the U.S.-Greek-Israeli Operation Noble Dina and U.S.-Israeli Operation Noble Shirley.
The crew also supported the opportunity to work with Special Forces Europe (SOCEUR) SEAL Platoons in numerous visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) tactical training events.