NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Deploying for the first time, guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG 107) departed Feb. 11 for the U.S. 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility to participate in Ballistic Missile Defense escort operations.
Not only is this the ship's maiden deployment, it is also the first deployment for a large number of the crew, many of whom have been on board Gravely since the ship's initial construction and pre-commissioning phase.
Gravely was commissioned Nov. 20, 2010 in Wilmington, N.C.
The deployment will be an opportunity for the crew to test the skills they have been developing during their many months of training.
Led by Cmdr. David W. Dry, they have been preparing for this deployment since November 2011 when they began the ship's inaugural Fleet Response Training Plan - Basic Phase. They have since participated in numerous multi-national exercises and real-world operational assignments, and gained extensive experience in every facet of expected deployment operations.
"Gravely's crew has done an incredible job preparing the ship and themselves for this deployment," said Dry. "We are prepared to conduct missions across the range of military operations and are eager to support the fleet commander's theater and strategic goals."
Gravely is the first Navy ship named after Vice Adm. Samuel L. Gravely, the first African-American in the U.S. Navy to command a warship, achieve flag officer rank, and to command a U.S. Navy fleet.
For more news from Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/surflant/.