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Gunston Hall Conducts Scheduled Mid-Deployment Voyage Repair for Southern Seas 2018 Deployment

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS180813-11
Release Date: 8/13/2018 3:13:00 PM

By Ens. Chelsea Dietlin, USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) Public Affairs

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (NNS) (NNS) -- The Whidbey Island-Class landing dock ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) completed a successful mid-deployment voyage repair (MDVR) during a brief port visit to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Aug. 4.

The eight-day port visit allowed the crew to conduct vital repairs and maintenance, welcome 4th Fleet's concurrent mission Southern Partnership Station to the area of responsibility, and give Sailors some time away from the ship.

"Gun Hall's port visit to Guantanamo was multi-purposed," said USS Gunston Hall Command Master Chief Kimberly Ferguson. "When a ship is at sea for an extended period of time there will inevitably be repairs that need to be accomplished that cannot be done underway. This scheduled stop was also an opportunity for the team to conduct in-port training, restock and refuel as well as allow our Sailors some time off."

"The MDVR provided logistical support and afforded the time to conduct preventative and corrective maintenance to keep the ship ready for the remainder of our C4F deployment," said Gunston Hall Commanding Officer Cmdr. Fiona Halbritter. "The repairs and resupply were critical for maximizing Gunston Hall's material readiness so we are able to conduct our mission and return home safely."

Port facilities and services in Guantanamo Bay offer U.S. naval warships deployed in the 4th Fleet area of operations a wide range of maintenance and logistics capabilities. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay is located southeast of Florida, a key resupply and maintenance checkpoint for naval operations in the area of responsibility (AOR).

"Looking forward to the coming weeks, Gunston Hall will continue mission coordination with Southern Partnership Station, as well as execute the multinational training exercise UNITAS," said Capt. Brian Diebold, commodore, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 40.

In addition to the MDVR, Diebold further discussed the mission integration of Southern Seas and Southern Partnership Station (SPS) by sharing that a team of U.S. Navy divers and medical professionals from SPS embarked Gunston Hall while both missions were pier side. The ship will transport the two units to their next destination in the Caribbean to conduct subject matter expert exchanges and partner capacity building engagements.

Southern Seas is a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored and U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet-conducted deployment focused on subject matter expert exchanges with partner nation militaries and security forces in the Caribbean, Central and South America.

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