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    USS Jason Dunham returns to homeport

    NORFOLK, VA, UNITED STATES

    08.28.2015

    Courtesy Story

    Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic

    NORFOLK, Va. – The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) returned to Naval Station Norfolk Aug. 28, 2015, following a seven-month deployment in the U.S. 4th Fleet and U.S. 6th Fleet areas of operations.

    Jason Dunham deployed to the Caribbean on Jan. 27, 2015. With an embarked U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachment, Jason Dunham conducted operations in support of Operation Martillo, a U.S., European and Western Hemisphere effort targeting illicit trafficking routes in waters along the Central American isthmus.

    After transiting the Atlantic Ocean and entering U.S. 6th Fleet, Jason Dunham conducted maritime security operations and theater security cooperation missions in the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, North Sea and Baltic Sea, which demonstrated U.S. commitment toward strengthening the partnerships and joint operational capabilities among U.S., NATO and regional partners.

    Under the leadership of Cmdr. Darren T. Dugan, the Jason Dunham officers and crew conducted a variety of operations and exercises with multinational allies and partners, including Exercise Shark Hunt 2015, in the North Sea, and conducted operations in the Black Sea in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve. While in theater, Jason Dunham also participated in multiple passing exercises with Montenegrin, Albanian, Greek, Bulgarian, Romanian, Turkish, Finnish, Latvian, and Polish maritime forces, which too provided individual training opportunities and increased interoperability across the maritime domain.

    “Jason Dunham strengthened key partnerships and with allies and regional partners throughout the Mediterranean, Black Sea, and in the Baltic,” said Dugan. “Jason Dunham Sailors demonstrated United States’ lasting commitment to ensuring safety and security across Europe. This has truly been a once-in-a-lifetime deployment. We were afforded the opportunity to represent the United States while working alongside our overseas maritime partners, at sea and ashore, and build lasting, positive relationships. It was a true honor to lead the exceptional crew in Jason Dunham through deployment; their energy, professionalism and fighting spirit never ceases to amaze me.”

    With visits to 16 different countries across Europe, Jason Dunham served a critical role in U.S. partnership building missions ashore. Hosting U.S. and foreign dignitaries, including the president of the Republic of Poland, four chiefs of navy, three U.S. Ambassadors and hundreds of allied and partner nation civil and military leaders, Jason Dunham strengthened ties with key regional partners. Jason Dunham’s crew also acted as good will ambassadors, dedicating more than 100 hours to the completion of community relations projects in Bulgaria, Spain, Latvia and Lithuania.

    “One of the greatest parts of this deployment was having the opportunity to volunteer all over the world,” said Yeoman Seaman Immanuel Granillo. “Having the chance to visit and help children from the countries we visited was awesome. The children, having never met U.S. Sailors before, beamed with joy just from having us there. From painting to repairs, even something as simple as playing soccer with the kids, we helped the local communities. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget.”

    While working to accomplish national and fleet objectives, Sailors worked on individual accomplishments as well. Ninety-two Sailors earned their Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist pin while seven officers earned their Surface Warfare Officer qualification, and one Surface Warfare Supply Corps Officer qualification.

    “This deployment was especially rewarding for me, my Sailors and fellow crew members across the command,” said Operations Specialist 1st Class James Weber. “Not only did we strengthen relations with multiple allied nations, but, as a crew, we were able to complete the mission and come home safe to our friends and family. For my fourth deployment, this has been one of the best; it was definitely exciting, challenging and rewarding.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 08.28.2015
    Date Posted: 08.28.2015 13:12
    Story ID: 174570
    Location: NORFOLK, VA, US 

    Web Views: 93
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    USS Jason Dunham returns to homeport