U.S. 5th FLEET AREA of RESPONSIBILITY - The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) transited the Strait of Hormuz and entered the Arabian Gulf for the ship's first time, Mar. 1.
The Strait of Hormuz is a vital waterway in the region. At its widest, the strait spans 21 miles, and offers the only sea passage into the Arabian Gulf.
"The fact that the waterway is so narrow makes this a dangerous evolution," said Lt. Jason Bardin, the senior officer on watch during the transit. "It is important not to escalate tensions while in transit. This is an innocent passage, we are not here to provoke but promote security and partnership."
Cmdr. Jana Vavasseur, commanding officer of William P. Lawrence said the transit was a success.
"We came through smoothly with no major issues," said Vavasseur. "Everything was handled professionally and safely."
Vavasseur explained that the ship's success was due to training and the crew's teamwork.
"We've gone through extensive training, our joint task force exercise and composite training unit exercise experience helped us very specifically," said Vavasseur. "We were able to build off of that training and build a terrific team. Whether it's a direct role for a specific mission or a supporting role, every role is important."
In a typical week, more than 500 ships will sail through the Strait of Hormuz. 300 of these ships are energy carriers representing 40% of the world's seaborne traded oil; the rest carry other maritime commerce critical to the vitality of nations in the Gulf and elsewhere in the region.
William P. Lawrence, on her maiden deployment, is deployed with the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions for Operation Enduring Freedom.