Surface Warfare Magazine
Sharing stories and news from Sailors across the U.S. Navy’s Surface Forces
USS Gonzalez Strengthens Naval Power from the Sea during Exercise Cutlass Fury

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.


 Personnel Readiness


 Combat Readiness


 Material Readiness


 Heritage & Recognition




The exercise provided a forum for valuable training to enhance shared readiness and our ability to operate in the Atlantic. We exercised air defense, maritime interdiction operations, weapons firing and most predominantly anti-submarine warfare. Recognizing the rapid rate of change occurring in both technology and the maritime domain, it is not lost on us that other world powers also see the value in anti-submarine capabilities and are increasingly conducting anti-submarine warfare exercises. We benefit from shared interests and objectives with our partner nations that have been fortified for decades. We continue to grow and maintain our team’s edge for combat at sea – relationships matter and we are building connections with the next generation of international partners who will stand the watch.

The final stretch of Cutlass Fury 16 included many training events, during which I saw a marked growth in understanding among participating forces, demonstrated through our ability to better negotiate shared water and air space, and plan and act as a combined force. With our network of partners, we continue to build capable and adaptable maritime partnerships that are beyond the call.

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