USS Nitze (DDG 94) returned to its homeport of Naval Station Norfolk, April 5, following an eight-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation.

Nitze deployed July 17, 2022, following completion of a four-week composite training unit exercise with Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10, George H.W. Bush CSG.

While operating in U.S. 5th Fleet, Nitze and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Delbert D. Black (DDG 119) recovered two U.S. Saildrone Explorer unmanned surface vehicles captured by an Iranian ship in the Red Sea.

Cmdr. Katie Jacobson relieved Cmdr. Sam Sareini as commanding officer during a change of command ceremony in the Gulf of Aden, Sept. 28.

Nitze worked with the Yemen Coast Guard to respond to a fire onboard a small motorboat in the Gulf of Aden, Oct. 26, rescuing three Yemeni civilians. Additionally, Nitze worked with the U.S. Air Force to deconflict air space for the President of the United States during a United Nations conference.

As part of Operation Unified Takedown, the ship completed maritime interdiction and security operations, supporting regional maritime stability through counter-narcotics and counter-weapons smuggling operations. During Unified Takedown, Nitze completed numerous visit, board, search, and seizure operations, resulting in the seizure of 2,200 kilograms of hash and 320 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine worth an estimated $43 million.

The ship left U.S. 5th Fleet and rejoined the George H.W. Bush CSG in the Mediterranean Sea, where the ship participated in Exercise Juniper Oak 23-2, the largest bi-lateral U.S.-Israeli exercise in history, and the NATO-led vigilance activity Neptune Strike 23.1. Nitze also worked to strengthen interoperability during the French-led, multi-national Exercise ORION.

“I am incredibly proud of my crew and the excellence they achieved while conducting high risk, high visibility mission sets during this extended deployment,” Jacobson said. “Our officers and crew advanced maritime security at sea, served as ambassadors ashore, and seamlessly integrated with our allies and partners. They embodied our mantra of ‘Better Every Day’ and reflected superbly on the United States and the U.S. Navy.”

Throughout the deployment, the crew had the opportunity to experience the regions of Rota, Spain; Eilat, Israel; Aqaba, Jordan; Salalah, Oman; Duqm, Oman; Djibouti; Rome, Italy; Gölcük, Türkiye; and Valletta, Malta during scheduled port visits. Additionally, the crew hosted key leaders, including the U.S. Ambassadors to Türkiye and Malta, strengthening important allied and partner relationships across the theaters.