Friday, December 14, 2007

USS Sampson Arrives in San Diego

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Alexia M. Riveracorrea, Fleet Public Affairs Center, Pacific

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102) arrived at Naval Base San Diego Dec. 7, after completing several exercises following her commission in Boston Nov. 3.

Sampson crew participated in several evolutions including qualifying in boat operations, seamanship and flight operations.

"We certified engineering department and completed cruise missile tactical qualification for strike warfare and damage control as well," said Sampson's Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Philip Roos.

The ship also underwent unit level training assessment and took on board personnel from the afloat training group for tailored ship's training availabilities.

"We worked really hard before and after the ship got commissioned," said Yeoman 1st Class Harry Tatekawa. "As part of our journey, we got to visit very exciting countries, such as Colombia and Mexico, and we transited the Panama Canal."

Family and friends of Sampson Sailors eagerly waited as the ship docked.

"I am happy to be back with my family once again, especially now that the holidays are coming up," said Cryptologic Technician (Collection) Seaman Aaron Cunningham. "After all this time away from home, we are finally here."

Next, Sampson's crew must complete engineering operation certification and will complete final evaluation in early 2008.

Sampson is the fourth ship named after Rear Adm. William T. Sampson, a naval hero during the Spanish-American War. The three previous ships, all destroyers named in honor of Sampson, were also commissioned in Boston.