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USS Benfold Returns From Deployment

SAN DIEGO – The Arleigh Burke class destroyer, USS Benfold (DDG 65), returns to San Diego Mar. 16 after a six-month deployment to 7th and 5th Fleet Areas of Responsibility (AORs).

Benfold’s presence was paramount to reassuring the United States’ commitment to regional security, which promotes global economic stability and local prosperity.

While serving as 5th Fleet Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Warfare Commander, the ship ran weekly exercises with other Aegis ships and conducted joint air defense exercises with ground based forces.

"I could not be prouder of the crew's performance this deployment,” said USS Benfold Commanding Officer Cmdr. Kevin Brand. “Team Benfold met every requirement directed her way both operationally and ashore. From a strenuous deployment in 2008 through this deployment, every Sailor put forth a tremendous amount of effort and exceeded all expectations, I am privileged to have served with them.”

In addition to the BMD mission, the ship conducted maritime security operations, working with coalition partners from seven countries deterring illegal activity and participating in four major exercises.

Benfold conducted 46 boarding team operations and provided air defense and surface sector coverage for Iraqi oil platforms for 25 days, including security sweeps with the Iraqi Navy.

During the six-month deployment, the ship conducted many different community outreach projects while ashore. In Phuket, Thailand, 18 members of the crew helped to preserve and paint a local school, engaged in local Thai cultural activities, and interacted with the students, faculty, and staff members.

While in Manila, Philippines, the ship’s crew participated in a subject matter expert exchange with the Philippine Navy (PN), hosted by Benfold’s Chief Petty Officer Mess. Approximately 25 chief petty officers from the PN attended and covered a variety of topics from damage control to deckplate leadership.

Benfold was a 2009 Battle Efficiency Award winner, and was named “the best ship in the Gulf” by Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 26, Detachment 1 for superior air operations while inside the Arabian Gulf.

Benfold helps provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the sea and humanitarian/disaster response within 3rd Fleet’s 50-million square mile area of responsibility in the Eastern Pacific, as well as supporting the Navy’s Maritime Strategy when forward deployed.
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