June 16, 2020 – USS Lassen (DDG 82) and USS Farragut (DDG 99) returned to Naval Station Mayport June 14, 2020, marking the end of a nine-month deployment as part of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) to the U.S. 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 6th Fleet.
“Farragut has operated phenomenally this deployment supporting operations in the U.S. 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 6th Fleet areas of operation,” said Cmdr. Jason Lester, USS Farragut commanding officer. “Over the past nine months, we faced unprecedented challenges and levels of uncertainty, both at home and at sea. Never in my 19 years in the Navy have I seen a crew come together to conquer these challenges as well as the crew onboard Farragut. I could not be more proud of Farragut’s performance – the tenacity, resiliency, and fortitude of this team is unparalleled.”
In September 2019, Farragut sailed to the High North in an ambitious test of the Navy’s desire to deploy faster, leaner, and with more flexibility. Farragut was a part of the East Coast Surface Action Group and reported to U.S. Second Fleet’s maritime operations center in Keflavík, Iceland. The ship was tested in the rough seas and extreme temperatures of the Arctic.
In late September through October, Lassen and Farragut integrated into U.S. 6th Fleet’s force, capable of deterrence and defending our allies and partners through anti-submarine warfare, integrated air and missile defense, and maritime security operations.
From December 2019 to March 2020, both destroyers supported Coalition Task Force (CTF) Sentinel, ensuring safe passage of commercial shipping in international waters throughout the Arabian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and the Gulf of Oman. In the January through March timeframe, both destroyers each provided overwatch to over ten U.S. flagged, ally-flagged, and partner-nation flagged merchant vessels through strategic chokepoints, to protect from possible state-sponsored malign activity.
In May, the Lassen and Farragut formed a Surface Action Group (SAG) and conducted maritime security operations in U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations, to maximize support to national strategic objectives in the U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) area of responsibility.
In early May, with the help of embarked U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment Team, Lassen recovered more than 3,500 pounds of drugs from smugglers at sea.
“The Sailors on Lassen excelled over the past 277 days of deployment in support of national objectives,” said Cmdr. Judson Mallory, USS Lassen commanding officer. “From maintaining stability in the Strait of Hormuz to seizing illicit contraband in the Caribbean Sea, this crew has not only accomplished every mission, but also exceeded every expectation over the last nine months, and I could not be more proud of them.”
On deployment, the two ships each sailed over 70,000 nautical miles and completed multiple strait and choke point transits, to include the Strait of Gibraltar, the Suez Canal, the Strait of Hormuz, and the Bab-el Mandeb Strait.
HSTCSG consists of the flagship USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) with embarked staffs of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 8, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 28; embarked squadrons of CVW 1; guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60); and DESRON 28 guided-missile destroyers USS Lassen (DDG 82), USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98), and USS Farragut (DDG 99).