By NAVEUR/NAVAF/SIXTH FLEET Public Affairs
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Laboon (DDG 58), an element of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, conducted a scheduled port visit to Souda Bay, Greece, June 3.
Laboon’s liberty port visit to Souda Bay provided Sailors the opportunity to relax from underway operations and a chance to venture out in town while, being in compliance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Defense and host nation COVID-19 mitigation measures. All personnel who participated in the port visit are fully vaccinated.
“We are all ambassadors of the United States whenever we visit different countries and Laboon’s crew performed exceptionally well during our time in Souda Bay,” said Cmdr. Charles Spivey, commanding officer USS Laboon (DDG 58). “It was a great opportunity for our Sailors to experience the sights and sounds of Greece. Laboon is the first ship to conduct off-base liberty in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations in over a year since the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic and was able to reach a 98% vaccination rate across the command prior to our arrival.”
While in port, Laboon loaded stores and conducted maintenance and preservation while pier side in Souda Bay.
“I still remember the excitement on everyone’s face when it got announced that we would have in town liberty, easily one of the best days on deployment,” said Fire Controlman (Aegis) Second Class Joshua Rollins. “As long as the work got done beforehand, what started out as a working port visit unofficially became a liberty port. Where liberty became the mission and much needed R&R was achieved.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group is a multiplatform team of ships, aircraft and more than 5,000 Sailors, capable of carrying out a wide variety of missions around the globe. The Navy provides a ready, flexible force capable of responding to a broad range of contingencies.
Deploying ships and aircraft of the strike group, commanded by Rear Adm. Scott F. Robertson, include aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69); Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61); Destroyer Squadron 22 ships include Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Mitscher (DDG 57), USS Laboon (DDG 58), USS Mahan (DDG 72) and USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116).
Squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3, embarked on Dwight D. Eisenhower include the "Fighting Swordsmen" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 32, "Gunslingers" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 105, "Wildcats" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131, "Rampagers" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 83 "Dusty Dogs" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 7 "Swamp Foxes" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 74 "Screwtops" of Airborne Command and Control Squadron (VAW) 123 "Zappers" of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 130 and a detachment from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 "Rawhides."
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 interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.
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