ACU-1 Sailors Return Home

Story Number: NNS071120-12Release Date: 11/20/2007 4:06:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Jennifer S. Kimball, Fleet Public Affairs Center, Pacific

CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 1 Sailors returned to their homeport at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado Nov. 17, after completing a seven and a half-month deployment with the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group (BHRESG).

During the deployment, 11 ACU-1 Sailors operated aboard landing craft utility 1648 supporting the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) by onloading and offloading equipment, supplies, and personnel.

"I'm very proud of my Sailors, they did great work," said Cmdr. Chris Landis, commanding officer ACU-1. "Some of their missions were two to three days long while conducting maritime interdiction operations."

This was ACU-1's first deployment performing extended missions away from the ship. They not only performed their primary mission of supporting the 13th MEU, but also actively supported amphibious assault vehicle and anti-piracy operations.

"The amount of professionalism and hard work put forth by our crew made operations go smoothly," said Engineman 1st Class Neil Sanders, chief craft engineer. "Our crew had several members returning for second or third deployments; we did a lot of growing and learning, it was enjoyable to be a part of the team."

The September advancement results proved to be an added bonus and well deserved recognition for some of the ACU-1 Sailors, which were released a day before the team came home.

"We had five new petty officers yesterday," said Sanders. "That's half of the crew and the fact that we pulled in today, it's a huge morale booster."

ACU-1 Sailors, embarked on board USS Denver (LPD 9) were extended twice during their deployment with the BHRESG.

"Feeling good to be back is an understatement, but we also feel lucky to be home safe, some members from the strike group can't say that," said Senior Chief Operations Specialist, Andre D. Nicholson. "We left with 11 crew members and we came back with 11, so it was a successful mission."

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