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USS Vandegrift Completes Homeport Change

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS060913-02
Release Date: 9/13/2006 7:59:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Rialyn C. Rodrigo, Fleet Public Affairs Center, Pacific

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- USS Vandegrift (FFG 48) completed her change of homeport Sept. 1, transiting from Yokosuka, Japan, to Naval Base San Diego after 10 years of service in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

Vandegrift was replaced by USS Mustin (DDG 89) in Yokosuka Aug. 14 as a planned rotation that takes place every seven to 10 years. Ship rotations are part of the Navy’s long-range plan to routinely replace older ships assigned to the U.S. Navy’s forward deployed naval forces with newer, more capable surface combatants.

"Both Mustin and Vandegrift crews performed superbly in executing this ship rotation. It's not easy to take two crews from two different classes of ships and conduct this type of swap," said Cmdr. John Rinko, Vandegrift commanding officer. "Our Sailors worked hard, displayed exceptional adaptability and creativity to make this a smooth rotation. We're looking forward to serving with the professional team on the waterfront in San Diego and upholding the high standards of excellence this ship and its crew displayed while forward deployed in Japan."

Vandegrift was assigned to the USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) Strike Group in Yokosuka in 1996, supporting the global war on terrorism and strengthening relationships with Asian and Western Pacific allies.

The Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate's mission is to conduct anti-submarine warfare and escort amphibious ships and convoys.

“Vandegrift and Mustin have incredible, but different abilities to defend our country,” said Hull Maintenance Technician 1st Class (SW) Mark F. Vivian, assigned to Vandegrift. “Both ships are now in the right place to carry out their missions.”

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