Guided-missile destroyer USS Gonzalez (DDG 66) departed Naval Station Norfolk for a deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility to participate in anti-piracy and maritime security operations.
"Our crew is ready and motivated for the work that lies ahead," Lt. Alexa Forsyth, Operations Officer, said. "This ship remained focused throughout the training cycle; I am confident that we will be a valued asset for Combatant and Naval Component Commanders."
"Our mission, to assist with regional maritime security by helping to keep sea lands free and safe, is one that we are prepared for and ready to undertake," she said.
The deployment is the culmination of two years of strenuous preparations by the ship. The crew, led by Cmdr. Christopher H. Inskeep, recently completed the Board of Inspection and Survey's five-year material inspection (INSURV) and received the highest score of any destroyer in the last six years.
The crew is looking forward to the opportunity for more hands-on training in a real-world environment, as well as port visits through the Mediterranean and Africa.
Commissioned in 1996, Gonzalez is named for Marine Corps Sgt. Alfredo Gonzalez. He received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his leadership in the Battle of Hue City, where he was killed protecting the members of his platoon.
Article by Lt. j.g. Kelly Wilson, USS Gonzalez Public Affairs