Saturday, July 10, 2010

USS O'Kane Departs Pearl Harbor for a Seven-Month Deployment

By Seaman (SW) Rachel Swiatnicki, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- More than 250 Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS O'Kane (DDG 77) departed Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam July 9 for a seven-month deployment.

O'Kane is scheduled to conduct operations in the Middle East and western Pacific.

"We look forward to the missions in U.S. 5th Fleet, which differ somewhat from those we executed during our last (western Pacific) deployment," said Cmdr. Derek Trinque, O'Kane's commanding officer. "The ship will support ballistic missile defense requirements in the Central Command region, though I expect we will take part in a host of other missions as well."

O'Kane returned from deployment Dec. 16, 2009, after three months of operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility.

Command Master Chief John Hall said that everyone is recharged, refreshed and ready for the deployment.

"O'Kane has been through an extremely busy, fast few months and a lot of things that we had to do. We stepped up and took care of all of our tasks," said Hall. "We even managed to put in a short leave period to give the crew a chance to relax."

Trinque noted how well the crew is prepared for the upcoming deployment.

"I think the amount of work they have done since the last deployment shows that there are experienced Sailors aboard and they are ready to go," said Trinque. "I know they are looking forward to the deployment where they can see the direct results of all their hard work."

Hall said he looks forward to the different port visits, "and having a very successful deployment for the entire crew while doing our mission and coming home safely on time."

Guided-missile destroyers are multimission surface combatants, capable of anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare missions. They operate independently in support of carrier and expeditionary strike groups.