Friday, January 27, 2012

USS Ramage Returns Home

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Samantha Thorpe, Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Two hundred fifty Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage (DDG 61) will return to Naval Station Norfolk tomorrow Jan. 27 from an eight-month deployment to the Mediterranean Sea.

Ramage departed May 20, and is one of six Atlantic-based ships equipped with the Ballistic Missile Defense system. This return home marks her third deployment in four years in support of the ballistic missile defense strategy. While deployed she conducted maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the Mediterranean Sea.

Ramage conducted naval exercises with five countries and completed a rescue-at-sea after finding an Egyptian fisherman adrift 100 nautical miles from land. After recovery, the ship returned him to his home county.

The ship visited 18 ports in seven different countries and participated in Belgian Navy Days, similar to a Fleet Week event. While in Athens, Greece, four Sailors reenlisted during a visit by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Dr. Jill Biden. After having lunch with the crew, the Secretary and Dr. Biden took time to talk with Sailors about their families back home. Dr. Biden praised the Sailors for their resilience, pride and dedication to their jobs.

Ramage returns under the command of Cmdr. Kyle J. Colton who relieved Cmdr. Erik J. Eslich during a change of command ceremony Aug. 12, held in Rhodes, Greece. Ramage is named in honor of Vice Admiral Lawson P. "Red" Ramage, who was awarded the Medal of Honor during World War II.