SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), the air and missile defense commander of the John C. Stennis Strike Group (JCSSG), returned to its homeport of San Diego following a regularly scheduled seven-month deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific, Aug. 11.
Mobile Bay left for deployment Jan. 19 and conducted operations in both U.S. 3rd and 7th Fleet areas of operation, to include more than 60 days in the South China Sea.
Capt. Sean McLaren, commanding officer of Mobile Bay, commended the Sailors on completing their deployment.
"Mobile Bay fully accomplished her mission as air defense commander for JCSSG," said McLaren. "We safely and professionally operated in a variety of complex air defense environments, including the South China Sea and the Korean theater of operations. The strong tactical knowledge of the crew was the backbone to our warfighting readiness."
During deployment, Mobile Bay conducted 370 take-offs and landings of aircraft totaling more than 850 hours of flight time, received 564 pallets of stores, and took on more than 3.5 million gallons of fuel in 30 replenishments-at-sea.
"This is my fifth ship, and I saw many Sailors take on more responsibilities than their pay grade warranted," said Command Master Chief Lisa Thomas. "Everyone had their head in the game, and it made it easy for me to do my job and focus on them as well as the bigger picture. The level this crew operates at made complex operations look effortless."
During the recent deployment, Mobile Bay and JCSSG participated in many international exercises including Balikatan, Komodo, Foal Eagle, Malabar and Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC).
"Mobile Bay was selected to independently represent JCSSG on two occasions -- once in Mokpo, South Korea during our participation in Exercise Foal Eagle, and once in Sasebo, Japan during Exercise Malabar 2016," said McLaren. "During RIMPAC, Mobile Bay was the air defense commander for Combined Task Force (CTF) 170, and led the air defense elements of Force Integration Training for ships from Australia, Canada, Chile, India, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and the Unites States."
While underway, Mobile Bay made port calls to Guam, South Korea, Singapore, the Philippines, Japan, and Hawaii, sailing more than 58,000 nautical miles.
"Even with a 24/7, high operational tempo throughout deployment, as exhausted as the crew was, we never lost our professionalism and we never lost our edge," said Thomas.
McLaren echoed Thomas' pride in the crew and looks forward to giving the crew a much-needed respite from the tempo that comes with a deployment.
"While executing important missions for our country, Sailors learn to love the Navy while on deployment," said McLaren. "At the same time, we learn how important strong family support is."
After a successful deployment, the crew is looking forward to having time to spend with families and friends.
In addition to Mobile Bay, JCSSG consists of aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21 staffs embarked, Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110), USS Stockdale (DDG 106), and USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93).
For more information, visit http://www.navy.mil, http://www.facebook.com/usnavy, or http://www.twitter.com/usnavy.
For more news from USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), visit http://www.facebook.com/USS-Mobile-Bay-CG-53/.
For more news from USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cvn74/ or http://stennis.navy.mil/.