USS Forrest Sherman Returns to Norfolk after NATO Deployment
23 December 2022
NORFOLK, Va. - The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) returned to Naval Station Norfolk from deployment, Dec. 22.
Forrest Sherman’s return to homeport marks the completion of a six-month deployment as the flagship for Standing NATO Maritime Group (SNMG) 2, commanded by Rear Adm. Scott Sciretta. As the flagship, Forrest Sherman led a multinational maritime group in operations throughout the Mediterranean Sea, ensuring security and stability in the region while supporting deterrence and defense of NATO territory. The ship conducted five multi-national exercises with NATO Allies and partners.
The crew traveled more than 37,000 nautical miles, safely navigated several strait transits, conducted 36 sea and anchor evolutions, 570 hours of flight operations, one anchoring evolution, and 21 replenishments-at-sea, 15 of which were with allied oilers.
“This year presented extraordinary challenges and incredible opportunities for the Forrest Sherman crew,” said Cmdr. Lawrence Heyworth IV, commanding officer of Forrest Sherman. “The primary mission of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 is to provide NATO with an immediate operational response capability while enhancing and improving our interoperability and interchangeability with our NATO Allies and partners.”
Forrest Sherman also completed 17 port visits to Croatia, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Italy, Spain and Türkiye, strengthening relationships with these critical allies and partners and reinforcing the U.S. commitment to the NATO Alliance and to the region. While in port, Forrest Sherman Sailors attended planning meetings, participated in sporting events with Sailors from other navies, toured local regions, and participated in four community relations projects.
Through this wide range of exercises, operations, and port visits, Forrest Sherman’s crew demonstrated their unrelenting commitment to their mission and to the region.
“The Forrest Sherman crew accomplished just that and so much more,” Heyworth said. “Through a two-month surge deployment in the spring, followed by a six-month SNMG2 deployment, I am incredibly proud of our crew’s embodiment of our ship’s motto: Relentless Fighting Spirit!”
As a NATO task group, SNMG2 prioritizes its mandate to enhance the collective readiness, responsiveness, deployable readiness, integration and interoperability of its forces. Its focus is on deterrence and defense against all adversaries in the maritime domain, upholding freedom of navigation, securing maritime trade routes and protecting the main lines of communication.
SNMG2 is a multinational integrated task group that projects a constant and visible reminder of the Alliance's solidarity and cohesion afloat. This continuous maritime capability performs a wide range of tasks, including exercises and real-world operations in periods of crisis and conflict.