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USS Bunker Hill Deploys

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS060922-16
Release Date: 9/22/2006 4:27:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class James Bartels, USS Boxer Public Affairs

USS BUNKER HILL, At Sea (NNS) -- More than 375 Sailors aboard USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) departed San Diego for a Western Pacific deployment in support of the global war on terrorism as part of Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 5, Sept. 13.

Bunker Hill has trained the last six months to prepare for the deployment. During that time, the ship participated in their Composite Training Unit Exercise and Joint Task Force Exercise off the coast of Southern California, a part of their certification for deployment.

“We have spent quite a long time preparing ourselves and our families for this moment,” said Chief Information Systems Technician (SW) Davy L. Burleson, Bunker Hill’s communications chief. “We are all excited and ready to go out and do what we’ve been training to do in a real-world theater.”

Bunker Hill is commanded by Capt. Charles M. Gaouette. He is also ESG 5’s sea combat commander. As the sea combat commander, he is responsible for providing defense and tactical support for the strike group. Bunker Hill is capable of defending attacks from land, sea and air with short-range fire, guided-missile, and anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

“The world has changed, which changes the way we must deal with it,” said Lt. Cmdr. Darren G. McPherson, Bunker Hill’s executive officer. “There are so many new threats that come from so many different directions that we must be flexible and prepared to deal with anything.”

Bunker Hill is currently enroute to Hawaii. While transiting, it will participate in anti-submarine warfare training prior to heading to the Persian Gulf.

“It was tough leaving my family and friends behind,” said Aviation Electronics Technician (SW) 2nd Class Roger B. Paull, a Sailor aboard Bunker Hill. “They understand that this is my job, and this is what I’m trained to do.”

ESG 5 is comprised of Bunker Hill, USS Boxer (LHD 4), USS Dubuque (LPD 8), USS Comstock (LSD 45), USS Benfold (DDG 65) and USS Howard (DDG 83). The strike group also includes Amphibious Squadron 5, the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WHEC 726) and Canadian Frigate HMCS Ottawa (FFH 341).

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