U.S. FIFTH FLEET AREA OF OPERATIONS – The guided-missile destroyer USS Stout (DDG 55) breaks a Navy record as it completes a nearly seven month deployment in the U.S.5th Fleet area of operations (AOO), Sept. 28.
As part of Destroyer Squadron Two Six under the Dwight D. Eisenhower (Ike) Carrier Strike Group, Stout remained in theater when the rest of the strike group returned home earlier this summer.
On Sept. 26, Stout reached 208 days consecutively at sea, surpassing the Navy’s known record previously held by Ike and USS San Jacinto (CG 56) as a result of the coronavirus and operational requirements.
Stout’s high operational tempo was in support of operations under Task Force (TF) 50, TF 51/5, and Coalition Task Force (CTF) Sentinel, the operational arm of the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC).
“USS Stout has been instrumental in maintaining freedom of navigation in the region. Its regular presence has helped to deter potential threats and provide reassurance to the global merchant community,” said Cdre. Rob Bellfield, commander of CTF Sentinel. “I wish to thank the crew for their efforts and wish them all the best during the rest of their deployment.”
As a Sentinel ship, Stout spent 139 days in direct or associated support of the task force to ensure the free flow of commerce. Stout provided overwatch for more than 550 vessels as they transited critical chokepoints and delivered 1,500 maritime awareness calls to regional commercial shipping.
Under TF 50, Stout supported both the Ike and Nimitz Carrier Strike Groups, taking part in maritime security operations such as patrolling the Bab el Mandeb and Strait of Hormuz, and escorting U.S. Army logistics support vessels through the AOO.
Under TF 51/5, the ship supported the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group as it conducted operations including island amphibious assault training and joint air and surface integration exercises.
Stout also conducted the first-ever Mid-Deployment Voyage Repair period at sea and executed significant repairs, preservation and preventative maintenance.
Not once during deployment did the crew fail to execute its assigned tasking to support continuous operations.
“We are extremely proud of Stout’s accomplishments in theater as they’ve been operating to ensure freedom of navigation,” said Vice Adm. Samuel Paparo, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet, Combined Maritime Forces. “Under the challenges of COVID-19 and the uncertainty of regional tensions, Stout embodied their motto and prevailed with ‘Courage, Valor and Integrity.’”
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