By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Conner Foy, USS San Jacinto (CG 56) Public Affairs
The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56) arrived in Split, Croatia for a scheduled port visit, July 20, 2022.
San Jacinto, deployed with the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) to the U.S. Naval Forces Europe (NAVEUR) area of operations, demonstrates the U.S. Navy's continued commitment to the collective defense of the European region and to strengthening relationships with allies and partners.
The port visit comes after San Jacinto and its crew spent the last several weeks in the Mediterranean participating in operations and exercises with partner and allied countries. These operations included a passing exercise (PASSEX) at sea with the Armed Forces Malta Maritime Squadron. The PASSEX underscores the dynamic nature of San Jacinto's deployment and the opportunities afforded to the crew to enhance interoperability with like-minded countries in the region.
"Being able to conduct these exercises and operations with our partners and allies is vital to the success we have in maintaining peace and security in the maritime area," said Cmdr. Glenn Atherton, executive officer of San Jacinto. "We must always strive to become better and more interoperable if we are to adapt in the world we are in."
While in port Split, Sailors will participate in events to expand their knowledge of the local culture, deepening their understanding of NATO ally Croatia. Among these events is the "Executive Officer's Explore Challenge," a competition presented by Cmdr. Atherton to challenge San Jacinto Sailors to find landmarks and historical sites located throughout the city.
"This will be a great port call for the crew after almost three weeks underway in the western Mediterranean," said Command Master Chief LaFrederick O' Herring, San Jacinto's command master chief and senior enlisted leader. "This deployment can be challenging at times, so getting a quick break is very crucial to stay fresh, focused, and ready for the mission in front of us."
Port visits such as these bolster defense partnerships and capabilities between the United States and bilateral allies and partners, while also strengthening interpersonal relationships. San Jacinto's visit marks the second port call to Split for the strike group this deployment. The strike group's flagship, Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), conducted a port visit to Split in February of this year.
The HSTCSG is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe area of operations, employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend U.S., allied and partner interests.
The HSTCSG includes USS Harry S. Truman, commanded by Capt. Gavin Duff; the nine squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, commanded by Capt. Patrick Hourigan; the staff and guided-missile destroyers of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 28 commanded by Capt. Todd Zenner, which have included: USS Bainbridge (DDG 96), USS Cole (DDG 67), USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), USS Gravely (DDG 107) and USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109).
For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with allies and partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability.
Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.
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