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SAN DIEGO - The guided-missile frigate USS Thach (FFG 43) will return to San Diego Sept. 16 after an independent seven-month deployment to the 4th Fleet area of responsibility in the eastern Pacific Ocean.
Thach performed a variety of operations during the deployment, including participation in Panama Canal Exercise 2011 (PANAMAX), a multi-national exercise focusing on the defense of the Panama Canal.
"PANAMAX exercised our voice reporting procedures, ship-handling skills and gave our boarding teams a chance to hone their skills," said Cmdr. Jeff Scudder, Thach's commanding officer. "These types of events also allow for the multi-national task force to get comfortable working together and build trust at the start of the exercise."
Thach also took part in Southern Seas 2011, which concentrated on strengthening relationships with regional partner nations and improving operational readiness for all assigned units. In addition, Southern Seas provided the opportunity for U.S. and other forces to operate in the multinational environment, refine coordination, improve interoperability and demonstrate flexibility.
Thach participated in the Pacific Phase of UNITAS 52. UNITAS, Latin for “unity,” is a combined South American and U.S.-sponsored annual exercise series that included theater security operations, anti-terrorism, anti-narcotic operations, and surface defense warfare exercises, as well as visit, board, search and seizure training and live fire events.
During its deployment, Thach participated in community relations projects in Chile and Ecuador, playing baseball with young children and administering an open-call youth baseball clinic to more than 150 children. In Ecuador, Ecuadorian navy officers visited Thach and were given a tour of the ship's main engine spaces, mess deck, berthing, damage control stations and supply store rooms. The group also viewed the exterior of the ship and was briefed on the ship's various communications arrays and weapons systems.
Thach is assigned to Destroyer Squadron 7 (DESRON 7), led by Capt. Jim Morgan.
Thach 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.