PEARL HARBOR - Sailors aboard the Hawaii-based Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chosin (CG 65) departed their home port of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) April 30 for a scheduled Western Pacific deployment.
While deployed, Chosin is scheduled to conduct theater security operations with partner nations while providing deterrence, promoting peace and security, preserving freedom of the seas and providing humanitarian assistance/disaster response.
"A little over a year ago I realized a lifelong dream when I assumed command of this mighty warship and its exceptional crew," said Chosin Commanding Officer Capt. Patrick Kelly. "The crew of Chosin has prepared well for this deployment. We are trained, we are focused, and we are ready to operate forward."
Kelly added, "We are privileged to be part of the Navy's presence in the Asia-Pacific Region and to represent Surface Group MIDPAC and U.S. Pacific Fleet. We look forward to operating with our allies, partners and friends in the months ahead, wherever we are needed."
Seaman Victor Pass, assigned to Chosin, expressed his feelings toward going on his first deployment.
"I know a lot of people that got to say bye to their families, and it's going to be real hard on them, I'm sure," said Pass. "But we're getting ready to go on deployment, so we're pretty excited, kind of nervous, but we're doing a good thing for this country, so it's worth it."
Chosin is one of 11 surface ships of Commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. USS Chosin is the first U.S. Navy warship named in commemoration of the First Marine Division's heroism at the Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War. The ship's motto is "Invictus," Latin for invincible or unconquered.
"The fine team aboard USS Chosin, led by Capt. Kelly, is well-trained, well-equipped and exceptionally capable of carrying out their mission," said Rear Adm. Fernandez Frank Ponds, commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. "They have my complete confidence. I also want to recognize and thank the family members and shipmates here on the waterfront for their support of this fine warship and all that she stands for", Ponds said.
"USS Chosin represents our commitment to the CNO's (Chief of Naval Operations) Sailing Directions: Warfighting first, operate forward, be ready," added Ponds.
U.S. Navy guided-missile cruisers perform primarily multi-mission [Air Warfare (AW), Undersea Warfare (USW), Naval Surface Fire Support (NSFS) and Surface Warfare (SUW)] surface combatants capable of supporting carrier strike groups, amphibious forces, or of operating independently and as flagships of surface action groups.
Commander, U.S. Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific leads and manages the overall warfighting capability of the Surface Combatant Force homeported at JBPHH to achieve the highest levels of combat readiness; to coordinate with external organizations for products and services to directly support Surface Combatant Force mission readiness; and to support the Type Commanders and Numbered Fleet Commanders in the development of Surface Warfare requirements, policies, programs, standards, and business practices to meet operational readiness goals.