Laboon departed Naval Station Norfolk Feb. 18 with the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group following completion of their six-week composite unit training exercises. After transiting the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, Laboon, along with the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mahan (DDG 72), a ship of the IKE CSG, both transited the Suez Canal on March 7.
While in U.S. 5th Fleet, Laboon integrated with the French Marine Nationale’s Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group and provided escort duties for their operations from March 8-18, March 23-25 and March 31 to April 12.
“Laboon’s Sailors executed at a high level to accomplish all of our tasking out there,” said Cmdr. Chuck Spivey, commanding officer, USS Laboon (DDG 58). “They’ve all risen to the challenge and made significant sacrifices.”
From late April to early May, Laboon and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), a ship of the IKE CSG, conducted maritime interdiction and security operations in U.S. 5th Fleet. These operations supported regional maritime stability through counter-narcotics and counter-smuggling, to include weapons that support violent extremist organizations. Laboon also performed two flag verification boarding operations during this timeframe.
Laboon visited Naval Support Activity Souda Bay on June 3 and became one of the first ships to conduct off-base liberty in U.S. 6th Fleet since the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am thankful that the crew remained safe throughout the deployment, especially in the midst of a global pandemic,” said Cmdr. Spivey. “I’m proud that the crew decided to fight back against COVID-19 and because of that, 98 percent of our command has been vaccinated.”
Throughout June, Laboon conducted maritime security operations in the Black Sea as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, a maritime exercise which focused on enhanced regional stability and strengthening interoperability with our NATO allies and partners.
“Deployment is tough, but a COVID deployment is even tougher,” said Operations Specialist Second Class, Allen Oldfield, a Sailor aboard Laboon. “I’m just grateful that we made it home safely and got to experience at least one port visit while we were out there.”
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72), a ship of the IKE CSG, will soon return to their homeport in Naval Station Norfolk. The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Mitscher (DDG 57) and USS Mahan (DDG 72) remain on deployment and will return to Naval Station Norfolk at a future date.
Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group is a multiplatform team of ships, aircraft and more than 5,000 Sailors, capable of carrying out a wide variety of missions around the globe. The Navy provides a ready, flexible force capable of responding to a broad range of contingencies.
Ships of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, commanded by Rear Adm. Scott F. Robertson, include the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), commanded by Capt. Paul F. Campagna; the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Monterey (CG 61), commanded by Capt. Joseph A. Baggett, and USS Vella Gulf (CG 72), commanded by Capt. Michael P. Desmond; Destroyer Squadron 22, commanded by Capt. Scott A. Jones, ships include the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Mitscher (DDG 57), commanded by Cmdr. Thomas McCandless, USS Laboon (DDG 58), commanded by Cmdr. Charles Spivey, USS Mahan (DDG 72) commanded by Cmdr. Chris Cummins, and USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), commanded by Cmdr. Bo Mancuso.
Squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3, commanded by Capt. Marcos A. Jasso, embarked on Eisenhower include the “Fighting Swordsmen” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 32, “Gunslingers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 105, “Wildcats” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131, “Rampagers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 83; “Dusty Dogs” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 7; “Swamp Foxes” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 74; “Screwtops” of Airborne Command and Control Squadron (VAW) 123; “Zappers” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 130, and a detachment from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 “Rawhides.”
For more news from U.S. 2nd Fleet, visit https://www.c2f.navy.mil/ and for more information visit http://www.facebook.com/US2ndFleet/ or http://twitter.com/US2ndFleet.
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