Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Half Way There

Aloha from the EasternMediterranean Sea,The Half-Way Day of ourdeployment has come and gone. While I know there have been some long days at sea and longer days at home, as I look back over the last three months I really wonder were the time has gone. It has been an amazing deployment thus far, and the remarkable men and women of GONZALEZ have answered every call and executed every mission with pride, professionalism,and operational excellence. It is my honor and privilege to serve as Commanding Officer, and I could not be more proud of our Sailors. I have every confidence weare the best ship on the waterfront! Just check our awards, advancements and promotions. My job as Captain could not be easier with the amazing array of talent and skill onboard GONZALEZ. Since the first week of March we have served in the Standing NATO Maritime GroupTwo (SNMG-2) Task Force which currently includes ships from Britain, Germany,Italy, Greece, and Turkey, inaddition to ourselves. We have had the unique opportunity to make port calls inRota Spain; Aksaz and Antalya Turkey; Volos Greece; Haifa Israel; Trieste, Taranto and Nisida Italy; Koper Slovenia; and Palermo Sicily, and we still have more port visits onthe horizon, including possibly the island of Malta,France, Crete and Spain and Italy again. We have also participated in two major MediterraneanExercises, Mavi Balina and Mare Aperto, and done more training in our first three months alone than I can recall having completed on entire deployments. This has been a remarkable deployment experience for the ship, and I hope you havehad the opportunity to read about our missions and successes in our press releases and in Navy News. If not, just give us a Google andyou can read all you want about your Sailors.

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