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    Sailor Receives Christmas Phone Call from U.S. 6th Fleet Commander

    USS Mason (DDG 87) Christmas Call

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Janweb Lagazo | 161225-N-CL027-004 ATLANTIC OCEAN (Dec. 25, 2016) Fire Controlman 2nd Class Tahriqa...... read more read more



    Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Janweb Lagazo 

    USS MASON (DDG 87)

    By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Janweb B. Lagazo, USS Mason (DDG 87) Public Affairs

    ATLANTIC OCEAN (Dec. 25, 2016) The dimly lit combat information center was abuzz with excitement. Here and there a Sailor or two could be seen wearing a Christmas hat or reindeer antlers while more than a few sported their Christmas sweaters. In the heart of it all, one Sailor, assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87), part of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (Ike CSG), was having an animated phone conversation with someone on the other side of the line, Dec. 25.

    Fire Controlman 2nd Class (SW) Tahriqa Fareed, from Buffalo, N.Y., smiled as she talked with Vice Adm. Christopher Grady, commander of U.S. 6th Fleet.

    “He was very personable,” Fareed said. “He seemed very interested in me and showed great appreciation for all Sailors on deployment.”

    Fareed continued to say that he was proud of all the Sailors in the Ike CSG because they “maintained a high level of professionalism” and “exceeded all expectations.”

    “I think it’s a great opportunity for our junior Sailors to understand that their actions do not go unnoticed,” said Command Master Chief (SW/PJ/DV) Ronn Shasky, from Mansfield, Ohio. “Vice Adm. Grady is a very seasoned man who has been around for more than thirty years. He was a destroyer guy, and he saw an opportunity to reach out to one of our Sailors who was very instrumental in the things that went on during our deployment.”

    Fareed commented that Grady mentioned that he was excited about the Mason and considered the ship to be “top-notch,” “well put-together,” and “highly capable.”

    “Previous to being commander of U.S. 6th Fleet, he was [Naval Surface Forces Atlantic] SURFLANT – our immediate boss,” Shasky said. “He’s very familiar with Mason, what we endured during basic phase, ramping up for deployment, Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV), and then tracked us throughout our deployment even after departing from SURFLANT. He understands what type of team we have on Mason, and he understands that we’ve exceeded every expectation placed before us.”

    Grady talked about Fareed’s family, especially her brother serving aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey (DDG 105). He also talked about the combat events in October and if she was involved in the engagements. Fareed mentioned that she was and attributed it to the quality of training before and during deployment and the extraordinary leadership of her systems test officer (STO), Chief Warrant Officer 2 Amanda Blackman. Grady was surprised and mentioned that Blackman served under him when he was commanding officer of the guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67).

    “It was great to see the connection between STO and Adm. Grady,” said Fareed. “It felt almost like the legacy was being continued.”

    Grady concluded the phone call by asking Fareed her goals and wishing the crew happy holidays.

    “I think hands down, she is one of our best and brightest,” concluded Shasky. “It was great for them to talk about the holidays and how she thought deployment went.”

    Mason is deployed to support maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. Along with Mason, Ike CSG includes the CSG 10 staff, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26 staff, the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3, the guided-missile cruisers USS San Jacinto (CG 56) and USS Monterey (CG 61), and the DESRON 26 ships: guided-missile destroyers USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) and USS Nitze (DDG 94).

    U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests, security and stability in Europe and Africa.

    For more news from USS Mason (DDG 87), visit or join the conversation on Facebook at

    For more news from Commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet, visit



    Date Taken: 12.25.2016
    Date Posted: 01.03.2017 12:35
    Story ID: 219233
    Location: ATLANTIC OCEAN
    Hometown: BUFFALO, NY, US
    Hometown: MANSFIELD, OH, US
    Hometown: NORFOLK, VA, US

    Web Views: 438
    Downloads: 2