In January, Gonzalez deployed to the U.S. 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility to support maritime security operations and promote theater security cooperation efforts.
While in 6th Fleet, the crew participated in a bilateral military-to-military visit board search and seizure training exercise with the Tanzania People's Defense Force. In addition to practicing core skills, the event also served as an opportunity to grow and foster partnership and cooperation between the two navies.
"Events like this one with the Tanzanians advanced the Navy's goals of enhancing interoperability among coalition partners and provided valuable training for the crew," said Lt. Cmdr. Kyle Gantt, Gonzalez's executive officer.
"Our vessel board search and seizure exercise was an excellent opportunity to interact with one of our East African partners," he continued. "Not only were we able to build our technical and tactical skills, we furthered Sailor relationships and enhanced maritime partnership in the AOR [area of responsibility] --certainly time well spent."
Throughout the seven-month deployment, Gonzalez made port visits in the Mediterranean Sea including Augusta Bay, Sicily, and Haifa, Israel, before transiting the Suez Canal to conduct maritime security operations in the Indian Ocean.
"Spending 67 and 91 consecutive days at sea between port visits illustrates the focus and dedication to mission accomplishment our crew was able to sustain over seven months," said Chief Fire Controlman (Select) Daniel Goehner. "We really pushed the envelope of our own endurance."
Commissioned in 1996, Gonzalez is named for Marine Corps Sgt. Alfredo Gonzalez. He received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his leadership in the Battle of Hue City, where he was killed protecting the members of his platoon.