US 4th Fleet Marks September 11th

The Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Rentz (FFG 46), assigned to U.S. 4th Fleet during the annual UNITAS multinational maritime exercise, held a ceremony Sept. 11 in memory of the victims of the terror attacks of September 2011.

The ship’s crew gathered on the mess decks for a special ceremony and discussion about the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Jorge Acosta spoke to the Sailors and Coast Guard personnel on Rentz about what occurred 12 years ago. Many of the service members were young when the attacks took place and had only read about it in history class.

“On Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers, in a series of terrorist attacks, turned commercial airlines into missiles and attacked key symbols of our economic and military might,” Acosta said.

“These hideous attacks leveled the World Trade Center towers in New York City, destroyed a wing of the Pentagon and left a charred crater in Pennsylvania, killing everyone on the plane.”

The attacks resulted in 2,977 victims: 246 on the hijacked airplanes; 2,606 people in New York City and 125 at the Pentagon.

“Today, we honor the lives of those lost on Sept 11, 2001,” Acosta said. Just as the attacks on Pearl Harbor affected those who were alive on Dec. 7, 1941, he said, “This is a significant date for the generation and has had a significant impact on us all.”

As the ceremony concluded, the crew was called to attention and Taps was played across the quiet decks of the ship.

“We grieve for the 2,977 innocent people who perished in those surprise attacks against our nation,” Acosta said. “For all of us here, the events of that horrible day will live forever in our memories.”

USS Rentz is currently assigned to U.S. 4th Fleet and deployed to the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific, conducting counter transnational organized crime (C-TOC) operations and participating in the annual UNITAS exercise off the coast of Colombia.

U.S. Coast Guard personnel are embarked with the crew of the Rentz as part of the law enforcement detachment for counter drug operations.

Coast Guard Maritime Enforcement Specialist 2nd Class Dana Schmitt said he was proud to be part of the mission.

“It’s an honor to be out here and teamed up with the Navy to help counter drug trafficking and terrorism,” Schmitt said.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet (COMUSNAVSO/C4F) employ maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations in order to maintain access, enhance interoperability, and build enduring partnerships that foster regional security in the U.S. Southern Command Area of Responsibility.

Press Release, September 12, 2013