Monday, August 10, 2009

Multi-Mission Chosin Departs for Western Pacific as Part of Maritime Strategy

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Robert Stirrup, Commander, Navy Region Hawai’i Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- More than 300 Sailors aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Chosin (CG 65) departed Naval Station Pearl Harbor for a scheduled six-month deployment to the Western Pacific Aug. 7.

Chosin will be a part of the USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group providing the six-core capabilities of the Navy's maritime strategy.

Chosin's Command Master Chief John Ullery, was very optimistic about the deployment, noting that the crew and the ship are extremely prepared for the tasks ahead.

"The crew has exceeded all of my expectations, and they do a great job of carrying out their duties," said Ullery. "If Chosin is tasked to do something while on deployment, we will be more than ready to fulfill those needs."

Ullery also said Chosin Sailors will have the opportunity to provide a helping hand to communities during port visits.

"We will have many chances to participate in community relations projects, helping out underprivileged areas in foreign countries," said Ullery.

Chosin Sailors looked forward to completing the challenges that may lie ahead them as they transit to the Western Pacific.

"We are excited to see a lot of liberty ports, have a good time and carry out our mission," said Seaman Brandon Whitlock.

Friends and family waved farewell as they watched their Sailors aboard Chosin depart Pearl Harbor en route to the Pacific Ocean.

"It's bittersweet to see him leave today, but this is his job, and I just can't wait until he gets back home" said the wife of a Chosin Sailor.

"I'm really sad to see my husband leave, but it is something that I'm used to, and I just look forward to his return," added another wife of a Chosin Sailor.

U.S. Navy guided missile cruisers perform primarily in a battle force role. These ships are multi-mission capable, including air warfare, undersea warfare, naval surface fire support and surface warfare, surface combatants capable of supporting carrier strike groups, amphibious forces or of operating independently and as flagships of surface action groups. Cruisers are equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles giving them additional long range strike warfare capability.