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NCWRON 34 Welcomed Home From Deployment To Kuwait

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070522-06
Release Date: 5/22/2007 10:28:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Jenniffer Rivera, Fleet Public Affairs Center, Pacific

CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- More than 150 families gathered at the Naval Air Station North Island air terminal to welcome home Naval Coastal Warfare Squadron (NCWRON) 34 from its nine-month deployment to Kuwait May 16.

NCWRON 34, comprised of Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Units (MIUWU) 105 and 114 and Inshore Boat Unit (IBU) 15, provided intelligence and protection for ships carrying supplies to allied forces in Iraq during its deployment.

“We were there for anti-terrorism and force protection," said Coast Guardsman Operations Specialist 1st Class Derrick McNeil. "To protect the high-value assets when they come in to supply Iraq with much needed supplies, such as ammunition.”

Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class (SW) Louis Ortiz, a Reservist, said he was mobilized for a year and spent the last nine months at Kuwait Naval Base.

“After three months of training in San Diego we arrived in country,” said Ortiz. “While there, we provided harbor defense, so that all the shipping in and out of Kuwait to Iraq wouldn’t get attacked. We trained, patrolled, and made contact with civilians in the local community.”

MIUWU 105 Operations Officer Cmdr. John Stein, a Reservist, said the deployment provided the command a great opportunity to train.

“During the time in Kuwait we were able to give our junior personnel hands-on training to qualify as expeditionary warfare specialists,” Stein said. “Hopefully they will pass on their knowledge to other Reservists to help recruit and get more people interested in the Naval Coastal Warfare Unit.”

McNeil said he has waited nine months to experience the feeling he had the moment he arrived back home. All smiles as he held his girlfriend, McNeil said that this was the best feeling he’s had since he left for deployment.

Ortiz was just as excited to be back.

“I can’t wait to get back to my civilian life and get back in school. It was a great deployment for me. I was able to serve my country doing a job I love, but I’m just so happy to be home."

NCWRON 34 is comprised of Navy active-duty and Reserve personnel and Coast Guardsmen.

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