The U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102) is returned home to Naval Station Everett May 9, completing a seven-month deployment.
Sampson departed Everett to join Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group Oct. 3. The destroyer provided seaborne protection to the strike group, escorted high-value ships, and served nearby communities during port calls in the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of operation.
“Seeing Sampson’s sailors grow professionally and tactically has been the most rewarding part of this deployment. Their efforts enabled Sampson to successfully complete every mission when called upon,” said Cmdr. Timothy LaBenz, commanding officer of Sampson.
While deployed, Sampson participated in exercises with the Egyptian and Republic of Singapore Navies at the Doha International Maritime Defense Exhibition and Conference (DIMDEX). Sampson’s interaction with allies included hosting 12 international representatives during an “open house” aboard the vessel in Qatar during DIMDEX.
Sampson strengthened partnerships with the participating nations during combined exercises and gave the crew the opportunity to interact with sailors from the Egyptian frigate Sharm El-Sheik (FFG 901) during a crew swap event.
“Engaging with the Egyptian sailors provided an interesting perspective to how they operated their ship,” said Lt. j.g. Richard A. Ford. “It’s an experience I won’t forget.”
Sailors also served as volunteers in communities during port calls in Bahrain, Saipan, Philippines, and Singapore by visiting local schools and social welfare centers.
Sampson deployed with Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9 comprised of aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52); and guided-missile destroyers USS Halsey (DDG 97), USS Higgins (DDG 76), and USS Preble (DDG 88). The TRCSG deployment is an example of the U.S. Navy’s routine presence in waters around the globe, displaying commitment to stability, regional cooperation, and economic prosperity for all nations.