USS Carr Returns to Norfolk

USS Carr Returns to Norfolk

USS Carr (FFG 52) returned to Norfolk, Va., Nov. 15, after a five-month deployment to the Baltic and Caribbean Seas.

Following more than two months in the Baltic Sea, working to strengthen bonds with partner nations in the region, USS Carr spent nearly two months in the Caribbean conducting operations to combat transnational organized crime.

While deployed to the U.S. 6th Fleet, principal duties for USS Carr included conducting joint exercises with navies of the Baltic States, including Poland, Finland, Lithuania and Latvia. The command participated in the annual International Maritime Defense Show in St. Petersburg, Russia, embarked multinational ship riders from five countries and hosted events on behalf of the U.S. embassy.

“This deployment was an incredible opportunity for my Sailors to support two significant missions, theater security cooperation throughout Northern Europe and combating transnational organized crime operations in the Caribbean,” said Cmdr. Patrick Kulakowski, USS Carr commanding officer. “Our interactions with both civilian and military personnel allowed my Sailors to experience many cultures and build understanding. I believe a critical part of building enduring partnerships starts with establishing a fundamental understanding between our people. I am proud of my Sailors. They proactively engaged our partners at every opportunity and demonstrated exemplary performance ashore.”

In doing so, the guided-missile frigate and its crew visited 10 ports throughout the Baltic and North Seas. USS Carr also traveled above the Arctic Circle to northern Norway and Russia. Carr’s visits demonstrated the United States’ contribution and commitment to its European allies while also emphasizing the multi-mission capabilities of U.S. Navy ships. This was accomplished through multiple theater security cooperation events to include anti-submarine warfare exercises, air defense exercises and six community service projects.

After completing its mission, Carr crossed the Atlantic, embarked a detachment from Anti-submarine Helicopter Squadron Light (HSL) 48, and headed for the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility. While operating in the Caribbean, working for U.S. 4th Fleet and the Joint Interagency Task Force South, the Carr team supported the interdiction of vessels suspected of smuggling drugs to Central America and eventually to the United States.

“Being my first deployment, I didn’t know exactly what to expect,” said Yeoman 2nd Class Edward Williams. “Separated from my family and home, this was truly a unique experience. Throughout this deployment, I’ve gained cultural experience, professional knowledge, and learned a lot about myself.”

Carr returned to Norfolk fully mission capable, a testament to the hard work and dedication of the crew. Carr deployed from Norfolk June 14.

Naval Today Staff, November 17, 2011