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US Navy

USS Philippine Sea Returns Home from Deployment

US Navy

22 April 2021
From Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet Public Affairs

MAYPORT, Fla. -- The "War Dogs" of the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) and the embarked "Vipers" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 48 returned to Naval Station Mayport marking the end of their nearly 10-month deployment to the U.S. 2nd, 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation.

Philippine Sea traveled nearly 60,000 nautical miles over the course of a dynamic independent deployment and operated in the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, including the Gulf of Aqaba, the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and the Arabian Gulf. The ship completed multiple strait and choke point transits, including the Strait of Gibraltar, Suez Canal, and the Strait of Bab-el Mandeb. The "War Dogs" also conducted 18 transits of the Strait of Hormuz, many while escorting partner military vessels and commercial shipping.

"The success of this deployment was truly a team effort. It was a thrill to watch this crew execute every mission and every operational tasking with professionalism and precision," said Capt. Kevin Hoffman, Philippine Sea's commanding officer. "When faced with many unique challenges over the past ten months, the crew not only persevered, but demonstrated unmatched resolve and an unwavering spirit of camaraderie. Their resilience inspires me every day. I could not be more proud of all the men and women onboard Philippine Sea!"

In the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, Philippine Sea operated as part of the Nimitz carrier strike group in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, and served as regional air and missile defense commander. Providing direct support to Coalition Task Force Sentinel, Philippine Sea took part in maintaining freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce throughout the region. Operating as part of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) Task Force 150, the ship conducted maritime interdiction operations alongside coalition partners in support of regional security. Philippine Sea also led and participated in several maritime security exercises with partner nations, enhancing interoperability and strengthening bonds across the theater of operations.

"The crew worked extraordinarily hard over the last ten months amidst a global pandemic, from daily tasks to earning professional qualifications and achieving personal goals," said Cmdr. Le Andra Kissinger, the ship's executive officer. "Everyone came together to accomplish every operational tasking as a team. Their work in the Fleet set a high bar for all future deployments."

While operating in U.S. 6th Fleet, Philippine Sea conducted exercises alongside Standing NATO Maritime Group-1, enhancing long-standing partnerships and continued cooperation in building operational and combat readiness.

Flying two MH-60R Seahawk helicopters, the "Vipers" flew missions almost daily, conducting more than 950 flight hours in support of all tasking.

"The demands of any deployment, and especially a deployment as dynamic as this has been, are shared by our Sailors at sea and our families at home," said Hoffman. "I'm truly grateful for the sacrifice, love, and support that our families and loved ones provide each and every day – our Nation asks a great deal of all of us and the "War Dog" Family continued to answer the call. Through it all, they remained 58 STRONG!"

As Philippine Sea returns to Mayport, the crew now looks forward to reuniting with their families, friends, and loved ones.

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