MAYPORT, Fla. (June 26, 2022) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) returned to its homeport of Naval Station Mayport, Florida, June 26.
Jason Dunham deployed Dec. 1 as part of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group.
The ship was employed by U.S. 6th Fleet to defend U.S., Allied and partner interests. Jason Dunham also conducted operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations to ensure maritime security in the Middle East.
“I appreciate all the support friends and families of USS Jason Dunham’s crew have provided throughout this deployment,” said Cmdr. Michael Kiser, Jason Dunham’s commanding officer. “Over the past seven months, our loved ones and their support have allowed us to make a real impact by demonstrating the U.S. commitment to NATO, collective defense, and supporting peace and security in Europe and the Middle East.”
The ship’s diversity of mission sets and substantial capability were complemented by the efforts of the crew.
“Day in and day out, I was impressed with the resolve and dedication from each Sailor aboard Jason Dunham,” said Cmdr. Robert Keller, Jason Dunham’s executive officer. “Operationally, the team here just continues to find ways to raise the bar in our performance.”
Jason Dunham conducted multiple escort transits through the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait. In preparation for International Maritime Exercise/Cutlass Express 2022, the crew visited Egypt’s newest naval base in Berenice on the Red Sea.
“February was an extremely busy month for the crew,” Kiser said. “We had a fantastic opportunity to meet face-to-face with our Egyptian partners as we worked to promote maritime security in the Red Sea. The crew’s performance has been outstanding.”
During their operations in U.S. 6th Fleet, Jason Dunham demonstrated cohesion and capability by sailing with Forward Deployed Naval Forces-Europe ships, as well as those of Standing NATO Maritime Group (SNMG) 2 and the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group.
In the Mediterranean, Jason Dunham took part in NATO-led activity Neptune Shield 22, demonstrating NATO's ability to integrate the high-end maritime warfare capabilities of Allied aircraft carrier strike groups, amphibious ready groups and marine expeditionary units to support the defense of the Alliance. Training exercises and vigilance activities throughout the deployment provided the opportunity to enhance relationships with European Allies and partners.
“We have been tasked with a wide spectrum of operations across a number of different operational areas,” said Keller. “While the schedule seems to change frequently for us, there is one constant; this team will find a way to answer the call.”
As the ship pulled in, Command Master Chief Kurt Roth, Jason Dunham’s senior enlisted leader, reflected on the sacrifices made by those onboard and those waiting at the pier.
“I am reminded of the hard work and sacrifice that our Sailors and families have done during deployment,” Roth said. “Life as a military member and military spouse is difficult and a life of sacrifice. I am proud of our Jason Dunham Sailors, and I am also proud of our Jason Dunham families.”
Jason Dunham deployed with the “Vipers” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 48, Detachment 6, who flew more than 800 hours throughout the deployment.
The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) includes flagship USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75); the nine squadrons of CVW 1, commanded by Capt. Patrick Hourigan; the staff and guided-missile destroyers of DESRON 28 commanded by Capt. Todd Zenner, which have included: USS Bainbridge (DDG 96), USS Cole (DDG 67), USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), USS Gravely (DDG 107) and USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109); and the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56), commanded by Capt. Christopher Marvin.
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