Saturday, December 06, 2014

USS Vicksburg Deploys to Support NATO

By Lt. j.g. Timothy Dover, USS Vicksburg Public Affairs

MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser USS Vicksburg (CG 69) departed Naval Station Mayport Dec. 4 to relieve USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) later this month as the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 flagship and to support theater security cooperation efforts in Europe.

 The crew recently participated in Joint Warrior 14-2, a United Kingdom (UK)-led multinational exercise in UK coastal waters. The training is designed to provide allied forces a multiwarfare environment to prepare for global operations.

 "The crew has worked extremely hard to prepare this ship for deployment," said Capt. Lyle Hall, Vicksburg commanding officer. "I am very proud of their commitment to this ship and to the mission ahead. They have always gone above and beyond at each and every turn."

 Before deploying, Vicksburg also participated in the USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) Amphibious Ready Group (ARG)/24th Marine Expeditionary Unit's (MEU) Composite Training Unit Exercise, a highly successful missile exercise.
 During this exercise, the crew earned their Independent Deployer Certification, which assesses a ship's capabilities to function at tactical and operational levels.

 Commissioned Nov. 12, 1992, the ship was named for both the Battle of Vicksburg, fought during the American Civil War, and the city of Vicksburg, Mississippi.

 Commander, Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 Rear Adm. Brad Williamson and staff will embark their new flagship, Vicksburg, to continue support of NATO counter-terrorism Operation Active Endeavour and additional NATO tasking.