USS FITZGERALD (NNS) -- USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) celebrated her 10th birthday Oct. 14, just one day after the U.S. Navy observed its 230th birthday Oct. 13.
The day was celebrated after a captain's call on the flight deck with several cakes that commemorated a variety of special occasions, including crew members' birthdays and wedding anniversaries in addition to the birthday of the ship and Navy.
"Today proves we are part of a living legacy, a current iteration stretching 230 years. What we do is more than just a job, and the fact we can tie the birthday of the ship just a day after that of the Navy communicates that all the better," said Cmdr. David Hughes, Fitzgerald's commanding officer.
Hughes is the seventh commanding officer of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, which has accumulated a number of distinctions in her 10 years. Among others, the ship participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom and was one of two ships in the Navy to participate in the first hull swap when she transferred to the U.S. 7th Fleet's forward-deployed naval forces in Yokosuka, Japan.
"It was cool being at sea today. To be in the middle of the ocean doing the Navy's mission helped make this seem much more real," said Seaman Brittany Winters of deck division.
Winters is the youngest member of Fitzgerald's crew and helped cut the cake along with Chief Gunner's Mate (SW) Howard Rudd, the "oldest salt" aboard Fitzgerald. "It was fun being up there with Chief Rudd," added Winters.
Fitzgerald is assigned to Destroyer Squadron 15 and operates out of Yokosuka, Japan.
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