Monday, March 21, 2011

USS Stout Conducts Strike Operations in Support of Operation Odyssey Dawn

From Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn Public Affairs

USS STOUT, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Stout (DDG 55) supported Joint Task Force Operation Odyssey Dawn by launching missile strikes against Libya March 19 in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, helping to prevent attacks on the Libyan people by that country's government.

Stout's primary mission in the Mediterranean Sea is ballistic missile defense, but Stout's crew was retasked to conduct the initial strikes of Operation Odyssey Dawn.

When Stout deployed from Norfolk in December 2010, few could have guessed that the ship would be asked to assist with a coalition of partner nations to stop violence in Libya.

"We're built to do multiple missions," said Sonar Technician (Surface) 3rd Class Jeramy Spivey. "Rapidly shifting from ballistic missile defense to strike operations is proof that Stout is ready for anything."

Spivey was operating a camera March 19 capturing the image of Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM) launching from the ship's bow.

"We've practiced the mission dozens of times," said Fire Controlman 2nd Class Joshua Gonzalez, one of the Sailors operating the weapons system aboard Stout. "To do it for real demonstrates what the crew can do when called upon."

Many Stout Sailors were able to witness the initial TLAM launches, especially the ship's bridge watchstanders.

"We witnessed history in the making tonight. It is nice to know that we contributed to the world's effort to protect innocent civilians in Libya," said Seaman Nathan Wade, whose role as helmsman kept the ship on a proper course during the operation.

In preparing for March 19's mission, the crew all seemed aware that the many drills they ran in support of engineering, damage control, weapons and combat systems were absolutely essential to mission readiness.

"Stout is energized like never before and we are ready for the next mission," said Stout Command Master Chief Anthony Cole.

"Arleigh Burke once said, 'This ship was built to fight. You'd better know how,'" said Cmdr. Sly Steele, Stout's commanding officer. "That is a concept we take very seriously in Stout."