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USS Ford Returns Home from CARAT Deployment

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070922-11
Release Date: 9/22/2007 12:05:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (NAC) Jason Beckjord, Fleet Public Affairs Center Det. Northwest

EVERETT, Wash. (NNS) -- USS Ford (FFG 54) returned to Naval Station Everett after completing a three and a half month deployment in Southeast Asia, Sept. 20.

Family and friends jockeyed for position on the pier as they waited patiently for their loved ones and scores of people volunteered to make the homecoming a memorable occasion.

Everett community businesses including the United Service Members Organization (USO) and other organization set up booths for the waiting crowd, who were treated to free food and beverages.

There was an abundance of unique T-shirts and hats sported by the crowd. Homemade signs made it easier for Sailors to find their friends and family members.

“Ford is one of our independent destroyers” said Capt. James Loeblein, commodore, Destroyer Squadron 9 (DESRON 9). “It’s always great to have our DESRON 9 ships return”.

While on cruise, Ford made port visits to Singapore, Malaysia and Hawaii.

As the ship’s crew prepared to meet their families, friends and guests of Ford’s Chief Petty Officer Selectee’s were welcomed onboard for a pinning ceremony. When asked what he was to do first upon arriving home in Everett, Sonar Technician Surface 1st Class (SW/IUSS) Matthew Lindhorst had food on his mind.

“I’m going to get some good food,” said Lindhorst. “I’m going home to get a pizza from Papa Murphy’s for lunch and enjoy being home.”

The ship’s return home caps a successful three and a half month Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) deployment to Southeast Asia. CARAT, which involves more than 1,300 service members, an annual series of bilateral maritime training exercises between the United States and five Southeast Asian nations, builds relationships and enhance the operational readiness of the participating forces.

CARAT presents an opportunity for both navies to build understanding that can prove useful in a variety of scenarios from maritime interdiction to rescue at sea.

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