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USS Pearl Harbor Comes Home

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070928-03
Release Date: 9/28/2007 10:45:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Alexia M. Riveracorrea, Destroyer Squadron 40 Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) returned home to San Diego Sept. 26 after a six-month deployment to Central and South America in support of Partnership of the Americas 2007.

Friends and family members gathered on the pier early in the morning, and waited patiently to meet their loved ones as the ship moored.

“It was a sensation of fulfillment to see my family waiting for me while we were manning the rails. I couldn’t believe I was already home after [being] deployed for such a long time,” said Religious Program Specialist 2nd Class Glenda Techur. “This cruise was a really great experience, I am happy that we all made it through."

While on deployment, Pearl Harbor participated in three phases of exercises along with USS Mitscher (DDG 57), USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58) and the Chilean ship Almirante Latorre (FFG 14). Ships conducted events at sea and on shore throughout Latin America and the Caribbean that enhanced relationships with regional partner nations.

“The crew’s performance was outstanding; the mission was a success,” said Cmdr. Victor Cooper, Pearl Harbor’s commanding officer. “This deployment was an excellent opportunity to get a better understanding of how our naval forces operate in order to increase cooperation in the future.”

Phase 1 of the deployment consisted of the Atlantic and Pacific phases of UNITAS, as well as Teamwork South. Phase 2 involved a variety of Theater Security Cooperation (TSC) events in the Caribbean and Central America. TSC encompassed military-to-military cooperation, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, combined training exercises and operations, intelligence sharing and maritime security assistance within the region to achieve common goals. Phase 3 finished the deployment with participation in PANAMAX 2007, an annual exercise designed to assist the government of Panama in protecting the sovereignty and security of the Panama Canal.

Pearl Harbor is the last of the Navy's four new cargo variants of the Whidbey Island class of landing dock ships. It is the first ship to carry the name Pearl Harbor, commemorating the heroic actions of members of the armed services and citizens of the Island of Oahu on Dec. 7, 1941.

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