Wednesday, October 24, 2007

USS Whidbey Island Arrives in 5th Fleet

USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41) entered the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations Oct. 21 to conduct Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in regional waters.

Cmdr. Michael Junge, commanding officer of Whidbey Island, said he and his crew look forward to helping maintain security and stability in the region.

“These Sailors are ready and prepared for any task our commanders assign to us,” he said.

“This area is important to the new maritime strategy. Security in the maritime environment helps maintain continued global commerce and a secure future for other nations,” Junge said.

Whidbey Island, homeported in Norfolk, is on a regularly scheduled deployment.

U.S. 5th Fleet, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, is responsible for an area encompassing approximately 2.5 million square miles of water including the Arabian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean.

MSO help set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment, as well as complement the counterterrorism and security efforts of regional nations. These operations seek to disrupt violent extremists’ use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.