USS Jason Dunham Departs from Naval Station Norfolk

USS Jason Dunham Departs from Naval Station Norfolk

Guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) departed from Naval Station Norfolk for its maiden deployment along with embarked Helicopter Anti-Submarine Light Squadron (HSL) 42 Detachment 7 as part of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group June 20.

During the deployment, Jason Dunham will operate in the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security operations and also conducting training and capacity building exercises with allied and partner nations.

We leave our families and friends with sadness, but it is with excitement we look towards the journey ahead,” said Cmdr. David A. Bretz, commanding officer. “This is an exciting time for the entire crew. We go forth endeavoring to uphold the legacy of Cpl. Jason Dunham. I have no doubt this crew will do just that.”

Named for Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for service in Iraq, the ship is a multi-mission platform. It is capable of conducting sea to land, sea to sea, sea to air and anti-submarine combat missions while also offering capabilities for maritime interdiction operations and humanitarian assistance.

Jason Dunham was commissioned in 2010, so for many Sailors aboard, this deployment will also serve as their own maiden deployment.

“I’m excited,” said Boatswain’s Mate Seaman Julius McGowan. “We’ve been training for this for close to two years. I know there will be ups and downs, but we’re ready and looking forward to getting out there.”

Jason Dunham is part of Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, which includes CSG 8, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), guided-missile cruiser USS Hue City (CG 66), guided-missile destroyers USS Farragut (DDG 99), USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81), seven squadrons of Carrier Air Wing 7, and Destroyer Squadron 28.

Naval Today Staff , June 22, 2012; Image: US Navy