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"Battle Frigate" Ingraham Returns to Everett

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS060118-02
Release Date: 1/18/2006 10:12:00 AM

By Ensign Felicia Cockrell, USS Ingraham Public Affairs

NAVAL STATION EVERETT, Wash. (NNS) -- The guided-missile frigate USS Ingraham (FFG 61) returned to its homeport of Everett, Wash., after a six-month deployment to the Western Pacific and U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations Jan. 16.

Ingraham, commanded by Cmdr. Ricks Polk, departed Everett in July as part of Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 1.

“Our ‘Warriors’ had a great deployment,” Polk said. “Whether it was training with our coalition partners on maritime security operations (MSO) during Exercise Bright Star, or being a force multiplier in the 5th Fleet area of operations, our ship demonstrated the agility that ESG 1 is known for.”

During the deployment, Sailors from Ingraham and Helicopter Anti-Submarine Light (HSL) Squadron 41 Detachment performed maritime security operations (MSO) in the Red Sea, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman. MSO set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment, as well as deny international terrorists use of the oceans as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.

“We really played our part,” said Operations Specialist Seaman Gerardo Batocabe of the diverse array of security missions Ingraham performed.

Ingraham’s Sailors, who call themselves “Warriors,” worked hard on the deployment to achieve enlisted warfare qualifications, and the ship now flies an Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist (ESWS) flag. The flag indicates that all required personnel qualified or requalified ESWS during the deployment. Additionally, dozens of the crew of 198 Sailors advanced in pay grade since leaving Everett.

“It was important to me to walk off the brow as a third class,” said Gunner’s Mate 3rd Class Dillon McDade, who was frocked the night before pulling into homeport.

After dropping off the HSL-41 detachment at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, the ship endured eight to 12-foot seas all the way up the coast to homeport, a rough ride that forced the cancellation of the ship’s Tiger Cruise. When the crew arrived in Everett, they saw their families waiting for them on the pier, enduring rain and cold temperatures to give them a hero’s welcome.

“Words cannot describe how elated I am right now to be home,” said Polk. “I could not be more proud of these Warriors or their families, who provided tremendous support for their loved ones during this deployment.”

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