Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), also known as “Fighting Freddy,” deployed to support operations in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa from November 2015 to July 2016, during which time Gonzalez was at the peak of core naval competencies, responding to multi-threat challenges.
Throughout work-ups and deployment, my crew was tested and proved successful in multiple fleet operating areas. With military allies in the North Atlantic, we continued to hone our built-in knowledge of the battlespace, connections among our network of partners and our ability to quickly respond to the environment.
In September, we participated in Exercise Cutlass Fury 2016, a Canadian-led, combined, joint maritime exercise designed to promote and enhance cooperation in the Atlantic. This year’s exercise incorporated naval, air and land components from Canada, France, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This exercise provided the team another opportunity to demonstrate the ship’s motto of “beyond the call.” This motto serves as a reminder of our namesake and Medal of Honor recipient, Marine Sgt. Freddy Gonzalez, who surpassed the nation’s call during the Battle of Hue City in protecting those he led over several days, while fighting enemy forces until he was mortally wounded.
At sea and engaged in maneuvers with partner nations, the true test of our abilities was run through the paces daily during Cutlass Fury.