NORFOLK (NNS) -- The guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) returned to Naval Station Norfolk Dec. 21, completing a seven-month deployment to the U.S. Navy 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation.
The ship safely navigated the Bab el-Mandeb 16 times, the Strait of Hormuz twice, the Strait of Gibraltar twice, the Suez Canal twice, among other transits, totaling to well over 40,000 nautical miles traveled. Jason Dunham experienced different cultures and landmarks as she pulled into various foreign ports, including: Haifa and Eilat, Israel; the Azores, Portugal; Safaga, Egypt; Djibouti, Djibouti; Duqm, Oman; Manama, Bahrain; Jebel Ali, UAE; and Funchal, Madeira.
“I am very proud of the crew for all of their accomplishments this deployment. We had a junior crew, and this was a challenging deployment. The crew remained flexible, focused and motivated despite the rapidly changing schedule and operational commitments,” said Cmdr. John Hamilton, Jason Dunham commanding officer.
“Every Sailor onboard had an impact, and this deployment would not have been successful without the support from the crew and from our loved ones back home.”
In addition to the thousands of nautical miles traveled, the Jason Dunham crew also completed numerous complex evolutions. They flawlessly executed 17 underway replenishments, three vertical replenishments, one helicopter in-flight refueling (HIFR), 18 sea and anchor details, upwards of 50 hours of small boat operations, and 900 hours of helicopter operations. The ship conducted over 500 hours of Maritime Security Operations, to include four boardings and the seizure of over 2500 AK-47’s. Jason Dunham worked hand-in-hand with foreign countries as she conducted numerous passing exercises, gunnery exercises, and other integrated exercises- to include Eagle Salute 2018- with the Egyptian and Emerati navies. The ship also supported the USS Essex (LHD 2) Amphibious Ready Group with mine sweeping exercises off the coast of Djibouti, Djibouti.
Jason Dunham crew and their families are excited about their return to home port; everybody is happy they will be home for the holidays, to reconnect and spend time with friends and families.
The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer is named for Cpl. Jason L. Dunham, a 22-year-old Marine awarded the Medal of Honor for making the ultimate sacrifice for fellow Marines during a 2004 grenade attack, while serving in Iraq. The ship was commissioned in his honor during a 2010 ceremony in Port Everglades, Fla.
For more information on USS Jason Dunham please visit the ship's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Government-Organization/USS-Jason-Dunham-DDG-109-314476222081057/
For more news from Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/surflant/.