Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Devon Dow
YOKOSUKA, Japan – Guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) Sailors returned to greetings from family and friends in Yokosuka, Japan on Dec. 10 following their 3-month patrol in the 7th Fleet area of operations.
During the patrol, Mustin traveled more than 28,000 nautical miles and visited Malaysia, the Republic of the Philippines and the Republic of Korea.
“I cannot be more proud of the Mustin and of what our Sailors have accomplished on this patrol, I am honored to be their commanding officer,” said Mustin Commanding Officer Cmdr. Joseph Ring. “On this patrol we have fought hard through challenging operations at sea with resounding successes, and we are excited to return home and reunite with our families.”
While at sea, Mustin participated in the integrated training exercise Valiant Shield 2012 and with the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force and U.S. forward deployed naval forces in biannual exercise Keen Sword 2012.
Mustin conducted coordinated naval exercises with the Republic of Korea Navy, further enhancing the capabilities between U.S. Navy and ROK naval forces.
Throughout the patrol Mustin was visited by an array of distinguished guests. Commander, Pacific Fleet, Adm. Cecil Haney visited the crew during Mustin’s port visit to Malaysia in conjunction with the 2012 Western Pacific Naval Symposium. Commander, Task Force 70, Rear Adm. John R. Haley flew out to visit the crew at sea to show his appreciation with their work in the 7th Fleet area of operations.
Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 51 Commanding Officer Cmdr. David Loo and Command Master Chief (AW/SW) John Ballisillo visited with their detachment and Mustin senior leadership during the patrol and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 Deputy Commodore Capt. Paul Lyons and Deputy Chaplain Lt. Robert Mills spent time at sea with the crew.
Over the course of the patrol, Mustin reenlisted 10 Sailors and advanced 55 Sailors to the next rate including six new chief petty officers. Thirty-eight Sailors earned their Enlisted Surface Warfare qualifications and two junior officers earned their Surface Warfare Officer qualifications.
The embarked HSL 51 Detachment Six conducted 1133 total flights, 526 landings and clocked more than 360 flight hours during the patrol. The squadron pinned eight Sailors with their Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist qualifications and frocked two Sailors to the next enlisted pay grade.
According to HSL 51 Det. Six Air Boss Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Kiser, the integration with USS Mustin and the air department began well before the patrol began.
“Every Mustin Sailor made each and everyone of the HSL 51 Det. Six “Spartans” feel like a part of the Mustin Nation,” he said.
“From the moment we stepped onboard we knew we were apart of a great team that was destined for success. It was a lot of work, but we are returning home knowing that we executed the game plan with perfection. Though we are departing for a short time, we are all looking forward to joining back together for the future operations, “ Kiser added.
Mustin, commanded by Cmdr. Joseph Ring, and is one of seven guided missile destroyers assigned to DESRON 15 and is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.