USS James E. Williams Returns Home
The guided-missile destroyer USS James E. Williams (DDG 95) returned to its homeport on January 11th, following a nearly eight-month deployment in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.
The ship entered the theater last June, safely transiting the Mediterranean Sea and Suez Canal. The ship remained off the east coast of Africa for the greater part of its more than 200 days at sea. Crew members conducted maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts there in support of national objectives.
In addition to the mission at sea, the ship and crew conducted seven port visits in support of maritime partnerships with Italy, Spain, Seychelles, Mauritius, and Djibouti. During that time, 150 Sailors volunteered 656 hours on eight community relations projects, which included habitat restoration efforts, school renovations, working with children and disabled youth, and took part in friendly sports competitions with local police and coast guard units.
Among the ship’s crew was Lt. j.g. Emanuela Ferrentino, an Italian navy officer, who was assigned to the ship through a personnel exchange program. She served as the assistant navigator and navigation division officer. Through her tireless efforts, she not only qualified to lead the bridge team as officer of the deck, but went on to earn her Surface Warfare Officer pin.
“Lt. j.g. Ferrentino has been a vital part of our navigation team and I am proud to have pinned her as one of the U.S. Navy’s newest Surface Warfare Officers,” said Cmdr. Heidi Haskins, commanding officer.
During their time at sea, many Sailors excelled on an individual level, helping one another achieve various watchstanding and warfare qualifications. Among their many accomplishments and career milestones, 113 Sailors earned their Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist qualification, 21 Sailors reenlisted, and 71 advanced in rate. Additionally, nine officers were pinned as Surface Warfare Officers.
“This deployment was everything I thought it would be, challenging, trying and successful,” said Operations Specialist 1st Class Brandon Dorsey.
James E. Williams is an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer commissioned Dec. 4, 2004. It is named after Boatswains Mate First Class James Elliot Williams, a South Carolina native distinguished as the most decorated enlisted man in U.S. Naval history. Among his awards, Williams was presented with the Medal of Honor May 14, 1968 for his heroism during the Vietnam War.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.