SAN DIEGO (NNS) - Amphibious transport-dock USS Green Bay (LPD 20) departed its homeport of San Diego for her maiden deployment to the western Pacific Feb 22.
"We've completed all of our training," said Cmdr. Kevin P. Meyers, Green Bay's commanding officer. "I can see the pride in the faces of my Sailors, especially the remaining plank owners who worked so hard to build this ship from the keel up."
The Green Bay crew has spent the last several months preparing for deployment including countless flight hours and sea trials.
"The Sailors aboard Green Bay underwent extensive training and certifications to prepare for this deployment," said Green Bay Command Master Chief Lee G. Bethel. "A lot of hard work and dedication are required from all of the Sailors and Marines aboard before the deployment ever starts."
Many of Green Bay's Sailors were both excited and sad to leave for the first deployment. Green Bay is scheduled to spend the next several months performing various drills and operations while also visiting various ports in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
"I'm going to miss my family a lot," said Operations Specialist 2nd Class David Walton. "I'm looking forward to hitting the ports overseas, but mostly I hope the mission we are doing out here really means something. If we can help save lives while we are out here then being away from our families will be worth it."
The primary role of Green Bay will be to transport Marines afloat and ashore to perform a wide range of missions, including humanitarian assistance operations, all supporting the Maritime Strategy.
Embarked aboard Green Bay are Marines from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).
"The Marines aboard are ready for deployment," said Lance Cpl. Carlos Granados, a tank mechanic from Oakland, Calif. "Some of us are a little nervous, and most of us will miss our families, but we are here and we have a job to do."
The Green Bay is underway with the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (BOXARG) led by Commander, Amphibious Squadron 1, Capt. J. Curtis Shaub. BOXARG is comprised of USS Boxer (LHD 4), USS Comstock (LSD 45) and Green Bay.
Green Bay 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.
For more news from Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/c3f/.