Wednesday, December 22, 2010

USS Princeton Returns to San Diego

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) will return to San Diego Dec. 22 after an independent six-month deployment to the 5th and 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR).

"I couldn't be any more pleased with the performance of the crew during the deployment, from bi-lateral exercises with key allies to counter-piracy missions off the coast of Somalia; they have done a tremendous job in getting the mission done," said Princeton's Commanding Officer Capt. Richard Haidvogel. "We're all very happy to be getting home in time for the holidays."

Princeton patrolled areas where the threat of piracy is a growing problem for merchant vessels. The cruiser's visit, board, search and seizure team conducted assist visits aboard several vessels in order to better enforce maritime security, deter piracy and police smuggling in areas where piracy is reported.

In September 2010, Princeton assisted USS Dubuque (LPD 8) with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Turkish warship TCG Gikeada (FFG 494) in capturing nine suspected pirates, who had taken control of the merchant vessel Magellan Star. Princeton took custody of the pirates and later transferred them to Kenya authorities.

Princeton also participated in combat casualty medical training with members of U.S. Coast Guard Tactical Law Enforcement, Detachment 404 as part of maintaining their medical readiness and proficiency while deployed.

With a crew of approximately 350 Sailors, including a crew from Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron Light 45, Detachment 2, Princeton made port calls to Singapore, Bahrain, Seychelles, Kenya, Thailand, Philippines and Guam. Sailors participated in community relations projects including painting school buildings, volunteering at hospitals and playing sports with children. They conducted more than 300 hours of volunteer service benefiting nearly 1500 host nation citizens.

Princeton helps provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the seas and humanitarian/disaster response within 3rd Fleet's 50-million square mile AOR in the Eastern Pacific, as well as supporting the Navy's Maritime Strategy when forward deployed.