By Lt. j.g. Devin Serlin, Public Affairs Officer, USS Stout
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stout (DDG 55) arrived in Rota, Spain, Oct. 3, drawing to an end a record-breaking period of underway endurance. As mooring lines were singled and the brow lowered, Stout solidified the new Navy consecutive underway record of 215 days at sea.
Stout’s last port of call, and the last time her crew felt solid ground, occurred in early March. Previously, the ship stopped in Rota in late February for fuel, stores, and logistics support following her certification as part of the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) Ten Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMTUEX).
Since March, Stout has spent 215 underway days in the Fifth and Sixth Fleets, supporting operations to maintain the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce. Stout conducted high-value unit escort missions and providing a layered defense for the USS Bataan (LHD 5) Amphibious ready Group (ARG), as well as both USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) and USS Nimitz (CVN 68) carrier strike groups.
Military Sealift Command's support facilitated Stout's record-breaking deployment by providing food, fuel and stores while underway. Stout conducted 36 replenishments-at-sea enabling their continuous support to the mission.
Stout’s time ashore in Spain will be short. The ship is taking on fuel and completing other logistics services before getting underway to close the final days of an unprecedented deployment.
“It definitely wasn’t a record that we came out here with the goal to break, but words can’t describe how proud I am of this team. The fact that they kept this ship in the game for so long is a true testament to their resiliency and self-sufficiency. It’s a privilege just to be a part of this crew,” said Cmdr. Rich Eytel, Stout’s commanding officer.
The final member of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) Two Six still on deployment, Stout continues to support operations in the Sixth Fleet.
U.S. Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national security interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.