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The Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS Thach (FFG 43) returned to San Diego Nov. 5 after an independent five-month surge through all of the numbered fleets.
Thach was operating in support of Task Group Iraqi Maritime (TGIM), which operates in the Northern Arabian Gulf (NAG) and is primarily responsible for defending the critical Iraqi infrastructure located in the area, as well as protecting the sovereignty of Iraqi waters.
Thach and TGIM also trained Iraqi forces in maritime security operations. Thach's presence and the increased maritime security it provided helped increase knowledge of the maritime picture in the NAG.
Extended in the Persian Gulf, Thach's presence was paramount to reassuring the U.S. commitment to regional security, which promotes global economic stability and local prosperity.
Thach performed a variety of tasks during the deployment, including boarding and search and seizure exercises to prepare the ship to provide protection in the strategically sensitive NAG. Thach also conducted oil platform defense, counter-piracy and counter-smuggling operations.
The ship returned home via an around the world transit, crossing through the Suez Canal, the Strait of Gibraltar and the Panama Canal. Thach stopped in a number of exotic ports, including Saipan, Thailand, Bahrain, Jordan and the Azores.
Thach helps provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the sea and humanitarian/disaster response within 3rd Fleet's 50-million square mile Area of Responsibility in the Eastern Pacific, as well as supporting the Navy's Maritime Strategy when forward deployed.