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USS Mason Assists CTF 152 with Maritime Security Operations

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS061113-10
Release Date: 11/13/2006 7:16:00 AM

From USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group Public Affairs

USS MASON, At Sea (NNS) -- Guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87) entered the Persian Gulf and joined with Combined Task Force (CTF) 152 in support of maritime security operations (MSO), Nov. 7.

CTF 152, comprised of coalition forces currently led by Italian Navy Rear Adm. Emilio Foltzer, conducts MSO in the central and southern Persian Gulf. It operates under international maritime conventions to ensure security and safety in international waters so that all commercial shipping can operate freely while transiting the region.

“I am particularly proud of the job Mason Sailors are doing every day as part of the Eisenhower Strike Group to promote maritime security and to build stronger friendships with other nations who want to protect the ocean highway,” said Mason Commanding Officer, Cmdr. John V. Fuller.

Mason brings a boarding team capability to the effort. Before deploying, Mason’s Sailors received basic, intermediate and advanced training at schools for individuals, team trainers and certification for the whole ship.

During the pre-deployment training cycle, the boarding teams also worked closely with special training ships to practice boarding, and during the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea transit, the teams from Mason, guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage (DDG 61) and guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio (CG 68), practiced boarding each other’s ships to maintain proficiency.

“Operating as a boarding team in 5th Fleet is a great opportunity for us to be a part of something bigger than ourselves,” said Lt. j.g. Jeremy Petersen, a Mason boarding officer. “After more than a year of training for this mission, it’s very satisfying to be able to participate in so many areas vital to the success of maritime security operations.”

Chief Personnel Specialist (SW/AW) William E. Evans knew coming to a smaller ship that he would be able to volunteer for the boarding team. His mind was set on becoming a member of the team and doing his part to assist operations.

“The team development and camaraderie has the values that most Sailors come into the Navy to find. This is a truly rewarding experience,” said Evans.

MSO help set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment and complement the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations. These operations deny international terrorists use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.

“Mason [also] supports our service members on the ground by guarding their flanks from the sea and making sure they get the support across the ocean highways they need to do their mission,” said Fuller. “The work is very challenging, but the ship’s motto says it all: ‘Proudly We Serve.’”

Mason departed its homeport of Norfolk, Va., Oct. 3, with the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) Carrier Strike Group on a regularly scheduled deployment.

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