The U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage (DDG 61) returned to Norfolk Naval Station on March 26, marking the end of a deployment to the U.S. 2nd, 5th, and 6th Fleet areas of operation.
Ramage deployed Aug. 20, 2019, to conduct maritime security operations and provide ballistic missile defense for U.S. Navy fleet and combatant commanders.
“I could not be prouder of Team Ramage,” said Cdr. Jack Benfield, commanding officer. “They represented our Navy and our nation extremely well; working with partner nations to strengthen regional ties, promote stability, and facilitate the free flow of commerce.
“While in U.S. 5th Fleet, Ramage supported Coalition Task Force (CTF) Sentinel, maintaining domain awareness through surveillance in the heavily transited Strait of Hormuz,” Benfiled continued. “These operations were instrumental in maintaining freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce throughout the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, and Arabian Sea.”
Throughout the deployment, Ramage performed numerous training exercises to develop tactical competencies. From carrier strike force operations to coalition exercises with the UK, France, Egypt, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, the ship developed key skillsets to maintain readiness and interoperability, further strengthening strategic bonds and cooperation with maritime partners.
Their historic visit to Beirut, Lebanon, was the first time a U.S. Navy ship had visited the country in over 36 years and demonstrated the Navy’s continuing regional commitment to EUCOM and CENTCOM areas of responsibility by hosting a reception for over 80 guests and foreign media outlets, including political and military leaders from eight ally and partner nations.
While in 6th Fleet, Ramage also represented the United States at the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands, sailing in the naval parade and hosting a reception on board attended by Commander, U.S. Marine Forces Europe, as well as senior Dutch naval officials.
The ship sailed over 55,000 nautical miles and completed multiple strait and choke point transits, to include the Strait of Gibraltar, the Suez Canal, the Bab-el Mandeb, and the Strait of Hormuz.
“I’m excited to be home to see my family, my wife,” said GSM2(SW) Richard Senior. “It was nice to see other countries, but I’m glad to be back home.”
The ship was commissioned on July 22, 1995, and is named for Vice Adm. Lawson P. Ramage, who received the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry while in command of the submarine USS Parche during World War II. Ramage is homeported at Naval Station Norfolk.