The guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer is scheduled to return Monday to San Diego, seven months to the day after it left for an independent deployment to the western Pacific Ocean, the Navy announced Thursday.
Detachment Three from the “Blue Hawks” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 78, based in Coronado, also is coming home.
“I could not be more proud of our sailors for the dedication sacrifice, and passion that they demonstrated throughout our entire deployment,” said Meyer commanding officer Cmdr. Randy Van Rossum. “They proudly served their Navy and are now returning to some well-deserved rest and relaxation with their friends and families.”
The 509-foot-long vessel maintained the Navy’s presence in the critical region, while the 300 sailors took part in several community relations projects at different ports-of-call. The ship is named for the late Rear Adm. Wayne E. Meyer, considered the father of the Navy’s Aegis air defense system.
The Blue Hawks flew more than 820 hours with two MH-60R aircraft in missions like anti-submarine warfare, medical evacuations and supply replenishments. They also participated in several international exercises.
“Our sailors have a lot to be proud of,” said Lt. Cmdr. Christine Fix, commander of HSM-78 Detachment Three. “Their hard work and dedication throughout this deployment have allowed us to support the Wayne E. Meyer team in meeting every mission and operational tasking with two ready, mission capable aircraft and well-trained and professional aircrew. This has been a challenging and rewarding deployment for all of us.”
—City News Service
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