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NORFOLK, Va. - Capt. Blair Guy, commodore, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 28, relieved Capt. Milciades “Tony” Then, commodore, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 22, as Maritime Homeland Defense (MHD) DESRON at a change of charge ceremony aboard Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads, Jan. 6.
DESRON 28 assumed responsibility as the MHD DESRON and will serve as Commander, Task Group Greyhound (TGG).
The MHD DESRON is critical to protecting the United States and its Allies from maritime threats in the Atlantic, and provides continuity of command for naval units assigned to this mission. In the maritime domain, the DESRON provides the command element necessary to respond with lethal combat capability in the deterrence and defeat of military attacks on the homeland.
Task Group Greyhound is a readiness initiative designed to provide the fleet commanders with additional highly trained and fully certified warships. The TGG readiness model is nested within the Navy’s Optimized Fleet Response Plan (OFRP), which is the standard fleet readiness construct guiding units through a 36-month repeating cycle of maintenance and modernization, unit-level and integrated training, and then deployment.
Vice Adm. Daniel Dwyer, commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet, presided over the ceremony and discussed examples of DESRON 22’s activities in the past year. In March 2022, DESRON 22 embarked USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) to represent 2nd Fleet, commanding and controlling four U.S. destroyers deployed forward into the North Atlantic under Task Force Two.
"You set up our headquarters for success as DESRON 22,” Dwyer said. “It is all about exercising, training and working with all assets in our domain using our available resources to succeed. During the 90 days embarked, you had my complete confidence in commanding the CTF," Dwyer added. "On behalf of the entire U.S. 2nd Fleet, congratulations on a job well done, and we wish you the best!”
Task Group Greyhound consists of four Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers homeported in Mayport, Fla. and Norfolk, Va., assigned at one time to ensure at least two will be ready for any mission tasking at all times. This model allows the other two “off-duty” ships to conduct necessary repairs and conduct advanced tactical training to sustain proficiency.
“Adm. Dwyer let me do the things I needed to do and never second guessed me,” said Then. “As we move forward in the Atlantic theater, we must remember that this is a thinking warriors' game”.
What makes TGG units unique from other DESRONs is that assigned units enter TGG post-deployment and remain fully certified for operations until their next deployment rather than execute extended depot-level maintenance at a shipyard. Ships assigned to TGG conduct more limited maintenance to correct material casualties and ensure safe equipment operation. This allows them extended time to sustain tactical proficiency and keeps them ready to accomplish the full range of surface combatant missions, including countering adversary naval threats to the homeland.
“Task Group Greyhound provides us a way to increase continuity between training and operating against high-end competitors in a dynamic environment,” Rear Admiral Brendan McLane, Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic said. “These destroyers are now designated under Task Group Greyhound in the western Atlantic on watch 24/7 ready to practice, integrate, and operate at a moment's notice.”
In September 2021, TGG began with the induction of the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) and USS Donald Cook (DDG 75). The TGG initiative paid immediate dividends as The Sullivans and Donald Cook were the first two ships ready to surge for an unplanned deployment to Europe in the Winter of 2022 to support the U.S. Navy response to Russian aggression in Ukraine. Units currently assigned to TGG include USS The Sullivans, homeported in Mayport, Florida, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers USS Cole (DDG 67), USS Porter (DDG 78) and USS Gravely (DDG 107), who are all homeported in Norfolk.
"Task Group Greyhound under the command of the MHD DESRON provides 2nd Fleet and the U.S. Navy with the flexibility to prepare for and rapidly respond to threats to the homeland and abroad while minimizing downstream impact to a destroyer’s readiness for future maintenance and deployments,” said Capt. Mathias Vorachek, Future Operations, U.S. 2nd Fleet.
U.S. 2nd Fleet, reestablished in 2018 in response to the changing global security environment, develops and employs maritime forces ready to fight across multiple domains in the Atlantic and Arctic in order to ensure access, deter aggression and defend U.S., allied, and partner interests.
For more U.S. 2nd Fleet news and photos, visit facebook.com/US2ndFleet, https://www.c2f.usff.navy.mil/, and Twitter - @US2ndFleet