Friday, March 27, 2009

Roosevelt Returns to Mayport after Ops in Two Theaters

By Ensign Michele V. Rollins, USS Roosevelt Public Affairs

MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- The guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) returned home from a seven-month deployment to the U.S. Navy's 5th and 6th Fleet Areas of Operation March 25.

Roosevelt departed Naval Station Mayport, Fla., Aug. 28 as part of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) in support of maritime security operations (MSO) and national tasking.

"The ship's 2008-2009 deployment was both challenging and rewarding," said Lt. Cmdr. Scott Harvey, Roosevelt's executive officer. "There are few times in a career that you get a chance to see 300 Sailors come together to accomplish a mission so important. This deployment was one of those times."

Roosevelt served as the air defense commander (ADC) for the Iwo Jima ARG during the early phases of the deployment. The ship's combat systems team coordinated hundreds of aircraft flight hours and maintained the air picture for the strike group.

Roosevelt also provided support to the pirated motor vessel (M/V) Faina, the Ukrainian arms ship held hostage by Somali pirates for several months, and operated off the Horn of Africa in support of national tasking, logging two lengthy underway periods of 70 and 83 consecutive days.

Roosevelt Sailors were excited to return to homeport and see their loved ones.

"This deployment has truly been challenging," said Cmdr. Stanley Keeve, Roosevelt's commanding officer. "We were challenged by its length of seven months, the extended underway stretches of 70 and 83 days and by the diversity of the operations we conducted: theater security cooperation, antipiracy, presence ops and MSO. Through all the challenges, Roosevelt's Sailors truly worked as a team and focused on the mission at hand. I am extremely proud of each and every one of them."

Roosevelt was deployed as part of the Iwo Jima ARG supporting maritime security operations (MSO) in the U.S. Navy's 5th and 6th Fleet Areas of Operations. MSO help develop security in the maritime environment. From security arises stability that results in global economic prosperity. MSO complements the counterterrorism and security efforts of regional nations and seeks to disrupt violent extremists' use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.