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Commader, NATO Task Force 508 Visits USS Taylor

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS120816-11

By Lt. j.g. Jennifer Gabriel, USS Taylor Public Affairs

USS TAYLOR, At Sea (NNS) -- The commander of NATO Task Force 508 visited guided-missile frigate USS Taylor (FFG 50) to thank the crew for their service and wish them a safe voyage home, Aug. 9.

Royal Netherlands Navy Commodore Ben Bekkering was welcomed by Cmdr. Jeremy R. Hill. Taylor's commanding officer. The two discussed Taylor's contributions to the counter-piracy effort, and the lessons learned from Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) patrols and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions.

Taylor has spent more than 160 days assigned to NATO Task Force 508 supporting Operation Ocean Shield, the maritime interdiction operation and counter-piracy mission in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

Taylor has worked alongside Turkish Navy frigate TCG Giresun (F-491), Royal Netherlands Navy frigate HLMNS Evertsen (F805), and Royal Netherlands Navy amphibious transport ship HNLMS Rotterdam (L800), while patrolling the IRTC, the Somali Basin, and the coast of the Horn of Africa.

Bekkering toured the ship and met with the crew.

"We always take the time to prepare for official visits, but we don't always get the opportunity to meet the visitors," said Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Henry Wells. "It was a pleasure to see the commodore in person, especially around our workspaces."

Following his tour, the commodore spoke to the crew during an all hands call on the mess decks.

He thanked the crew for their hard work, which helped ensure the safe transit of more than 4,000 merchant ships through the Horn of Africa region.

At the conclusion of his remarks, Bekkering presented Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 3rd Class Chadwick Anderson with a challenge coin in recognition of his outstanding performance as a visit, board, search and seizure team member.

Taylor is assigned to Commander, NATO Task Force 508 supporting Operation Ocean Shield, maritime interception operations and counter-piracy missions in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

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