After an 8-month deployment to the Atlantic Ocean and US 5th Fleet areas of operations, the Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul (DDG 74) returned to Norfolk, Virginia, on January 4, 2024.
The USS McFaul (DDG 74) served as an independently deployed vessel in the US 5th Fleet area of operations and served as an air defense unit within the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group (GRFCSG) operating off the coast of Israel.
As reported by the US Navy, during its deployment, USS McFaul executed 34 transits through the Strait of Hormuz, safeguarding freedom of navigation for vital commercial traffic in this politically sensitive region.
Additionally, the destroyer carried out 17 close escorts to support maritime allies and assets, contributing to US maritime security objectives in the Middle East and Europe.
For 250 days, the McFaul’s crew accomplished 26 replenishments at sea, covering a distance of over 50,000 nautical miles and transferring more than 5,500,000 gallons of fuel. Following a transit through the Suez Canal, McFaul transited the Atlantic Ocean and commenced patrols in the Gulf of Oman and Southern Arabian Gulf.
During patrols in the Gulf of Oman and Southern Arabian Gulf, the McFaul engaged in over 130 hours of UAV operations, stated the Navy. Additionally, the destroyer played host to officers from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, collaborated in joint operations with the US Air Force, conducted at-sea operations with a Qatari ship, and participated in bilateral exercises with the Omanis, all aimed at enhancing regional ties.
“During our 192 days in Fifth Fleet, McFaul prevented the Iranian seizure of two motor tankers, completed an unprecedented 34 Strait of Hormuz transits, conducted rescue and assistance of distressed mariners, and escorted numerous merchant vessels to ensure free flow of commerce.”
“Additionally, McFaul participated in joint and bi-lateral exercises strengthening partnerships and building relationships with five nations and the US Air Force. The grit, determination, and hard work from every member of Team 74 contributed to McFaul’s successful deployment and I could not be prouder of Team 74,” said Cmdr. Antonia Shey, the commanding officer of McFaul.
The GRFCSG is currently on a scheduled deployment within the US Naval Forces Europe-Africa area of operations, serving under the command of the US 6th Fleet and US 5th Fleet to safeguard US, allied, and partner interests.
This carrier strike group is composed of its flagship, the Ford-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), Carrier Air Wing Eight (CVW-8), Destroyer Squadron Two (DESRON-2), the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG-60), and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Ramage (DDG 61), USS McFaul (DDG 74), and USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116).