By Lt. j.g. Catherine Macklin
The Arleigh Burke-class, guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul (DDG-74) departed Rota, Spain following a scheduled port visit to continue operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations (AOR).
This mission to 6th Fleet marked the third mission for McFaul since returning from an eight-month deployment, in September, 2019. The ship is currently in the Sustainment phase of the Optimized Fleet Response Plan (OFRP) and recently operated with the BATAAN Amphibious Readiness Group as well as the Royal Navy aircraft carrier QUEEN ELIZABETH. For this more recent mission, McFaul integrated with the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and USS Bainbridge (DDG 96).
“After almost three weeks at sea with the Truman Strike Group, it was great to make a short stop in Rota,” said Cmdr. Rusty Williamson, commanding officer of McFaul. “This mission has been a success thus far because of the hard work and dedication of each member of the McFaul team.”
“Sustainment on McFaul is centered around maintaining our equipment and personnel readiness in order to accomplish any mission,” said Lt. Robert Allen, operations officer.
While in port, McFaul conducted a logistics on-load and took on fuel before returning to sea.
“While at sea, McFaul has continued to conduct a full range of integrated training including damage control, navigation, and medical training in an effort to stay proficient in all we do,” said Yeoman 1st Class Mary Joe Rifenburgh.
“Each underway during Sustainment serves to maintain the technical and tactical skills displayed by the crew during deployment,” said Allen. “With the arrival of each new crew member, some of whom are on their first underway, time at sea is very helpful to assess and fine tune how our team operates and maintains a deployable-ready force.”
USS McFaul is named after Chief Petty Officer Donald McFaul who gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country. McFaul is the 24th Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer and is stationed in Norfolk, VA.