USS Carter Hall Sailors Return to Homeport


USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) Sailors returned to homeport at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, Va., May 16, after a nine-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility (AOR).

Carter Hall, as part of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), along with embarked Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), began its deployment Aug. 27, 2010. The ARG/MEU team deployed one month prior to their scheduled departure date to support U.S. humanitarian assistance and flood relief efforts in Pakistan.

“We worked so hard and accomplished so much during our time at sea,” said Cmdr. George B. Doyon, USS Carter Hall commanding officer. “I am unbelievably proud to have had the opportunity to work with such a fine team of dedicated and motivated Sailors. The crew truly made the most of our deployment and we are all excited to be home.”

Carter Hall’s primary mission was to conduct maritime security operations in the and support the embarked Marines.

During its time spent in the U.S. 5th Fleet AOR, Carter Hall participated in interoperability training and operations, completed national tasking, and provided support for Operation Enduring Freedom and the 26 MEU. The ship operated independently for most of the deployment before reuniting with the ARG ships in the U.S. 6th Fleet April 13, in support of Operation Unified Protector.

“Our ship was involved with so many important evolutions during this deployment, and I feel privileged to have been a part of it,” said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Kristin Taylor. “I had the opportunity to see new places and build better working relationships with my shipmates. It was an extremely rewarding experience.”

In addition to completing its mission, Carter Hall made several port visits in Manama, Bahrain, where crew members participated in a total of seven community relations projects. Carter Hall visited Spain during its final stop before returning home.

The Kearsarge ARG is led by Commander, Amphibious Squadron 4, and is comprised of the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), the amphibious dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) and the amphibious transport dock ship USS Ponce (LPD 15). Also attached is Fleet Surgical Team (FST) 6, Tactical Air Control Squadron (TACRON) 21-detachment 1, and Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 4 and Beach Master Unit (BMU) 2 detachments. The 26th MEU, based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., consists of Battalion Landing Team 3/8, Combat Logistics Battalion 26, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 266 (Reinforced) and the command element.

By Kristin L. Grover (navy)
Source: navy, May 17, 2011;