USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) returned to Naval Station Mayport, Feb. 12, 2023, concluding a four-month deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.

This marks the ship’s third deployment in three years.

The Sullivans deployed in 2021 with HMS Queen Elizabeth as part of U.K. Carrier Strike Group 2021 (CSG 21) and to the U.S. European Command area of responsibility under U.S. 2nd Fleet in support of NATO Allies and partners in 2022.

During this deployment, U.S. Sailors and Coast Guardsmen collaborated with regional partners during educational exchanges at U.S. 5th Fleet headquarters in Bahrain. The Sullivans conducted routine flag-verification operations while serving in the Gulf of Oman and multinational seaway defense exercise with regional partner is U.S. 5th Fleet.

“I am consistently impressed by the professionalism this crew demonstrates on a daily basis,” said Cmdr. James Diefenderfer, Jr., commanding officer of The Sullivans. “The Sullivans is a team that unfailingly answers the call to operate forward, providing presence and capability to ensure freedom of navigation and deterring illicit activity through the world’s seas.”

The crew navigated more than 29,000 nautical miles, conducted seven underway replenishments, 200 small boat operations, and 14 strait transits while operating in the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Gulf to help ensure maritime security and stability in the Middle East region.

Completing three deployments in two years, Diefenderfer said he asked more from his Sailors than most, and the crew took on each challenge while excelling at each mission they were given.

U.S. 2nd Fleet, reestablished in 2018 in response to the changing global security environment, develops and employs maritime forces ready to fight across multiple domains in the Atlantic and Arctic in order to ensure access, deter aggression and defend U.S., allied, and partner interests.