Goodbye Hugs, Ready to Run, and Anchored Up (Hopper’s First week of deployment)
The crew of USS Hopper (DDG 70) embraced their loved ones one last time at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam Sept. 6 prior to embarking on an eight-month deployment. “Hopper-Nation” manned the rails in summer whites and stood with pride as the ship departed the pier.
Coincidentally, Sept. 6 also represented the 16th Anniversary of the Commissioning of USS HOPPER named after Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper. The crew honored this special day with a cake cutting ceremony and commemoration of the great accomplishments Admiral Hopper made in computer science and mathematics.
The ship completed a compressed basic phase training cycle on Aug. 2 and were certified ready to deploy to conduct sustained operations. Capt. Wallace Lovely, Commodore Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 31, addressed the crew shortly before lifting the brow. He told the crew they were ready for their deployment and acknowledged their superb performance during their training cycle. He also told the crew, they were not alone and DESRON 31 staff and ships will support them and their families from afar.
The first day underway was a busy one for Hopper. The crew exercised many critical seamanship and warfare scenarios such as man overboard drills and night time general quarters to get themselves ready for sea.
Within the first few days underway, Hopper Nation conducted combat systems training scenarios, man overboard drills, visual identification drills, weapons systems firings and small caliber gun qualifications. Additionally, the crew paid tribute with a 9/11 ceremony coordinated by the chief petty officer selectees. The 9/11 remembrance ceremony was held on the mess decks where the crew recalled the fateful events that took place on that day and held a moment of silence in memory of the people that lost their lives on that day. Hopper Nation then gathered topside for a 9/11 tribute 5k run.
Hopper ended the week on a high note by welcoming new members to the “Goat Locker”, also known as the Chief Petty Officer’s Mess.
On Sept. 13, Hopper welcomed five new chiefs to the mess – FCC Yokely, MMC Wilkison, SHC Luter, OSC Jenkins and GMC Creque.
The deployment is just a few days completed and everyday is an opportunity to represent the fighting spirit of the Navy and those who have gone before us.