Wednesday, October 28, 2009

USS Russell Returns from Western Pacific Deployment

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

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- More than 300 Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59) arrived to a crowded pier of friends and family at Naval Station Pearl Harbor Oct. 26, following a three-month deployment to the Western Pacific.

Russell deployed July 27 as an independent deployer to 7th Fleet's Area of Responsibility (AOR).

While in 7th Fleet's AOR, Russell participated in South East Asian Cooperation for Anti-Terrorism and the Indonesian portion of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT).

Cmdr. Rodney Patton, commanding officer of Russell, described the great effort and teamwork that Russell Sailors displayed while on deployment.

"I could not have asked of anything more from the crew during the deployment," said Patton. "They performed very well and carried out all tasks that Russell was assigned to do."

Friends and families of Russell Sailors lined the pier with excitement as they waited for the ship to arrive.

"The deployment wasn't as long as they usually are, but three months is still a long time and I'm just really excited to see him," said the wife of a Russell Sailor.

Sailors were overjoyed to be home as they walked off the ship and into the arms of their loved ones.

"It is just really great to come home and see my family waiting here on the pier for me," said Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Shawn Daudaherty. "I've been anxiously awaiting this day for a while, and I'm happy it has finally came."

CARAT is an annual series of bilateral military exercises between the United States and various Southeast Asia nations. Participants historically include the navies of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

Guided-missile destroyers like Russell provide multimission offensive and defensive capabilities and can operate independently or as part of carrier battle groups, surface action groups, amphibious ready groups and underway replenishment groups.