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Fitzgerald departed San Diego on Jan. 3 as part of the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group (ABECSG) and served as the ballistic missile defense commander for ABECSG before detaching to conduct independent operations.
“I am tremendously proud of my Sailors’ sense of ownership and dedication to each other and the mission,” said Cmdr. David Catterall, Fitzgerald’s commanding officer. “We operated successfully across a wide spectrum of operations with allies and partners around the world and displayed the immense capability of Fitzgerald Sailors and the U.S. Navy.”
While deployed to U.S. 5th Fleet, Fitzgerald conducted operations across multiple warfare areas, providing regional stability and supporting partners such as the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. While in the North Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean, Fitzgerald embarked an advanced interdiction team from the U.S. Coast Guard to conduct maritime interdiction operations, including the inaugural operations of a new coalition task force, Combined Task Force 153. Fitzgerald Sailors also dedicated time in port to build community relations through projects at an animal shelter and a local school in Bahrain.
Across U.S. 7th Fleet, Fitzgerald contributed to enduring partnerships that are critical to maintaining an international rules-based order, including work with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force during an advanced anti-submarine warfare exercise. Fitzgerald and a Royal Australian Navy frigate conducted flight operations, tactical maneuvering and a personnel exchange before participating in Exercise Milan 2022, a multinational exercise in India with ships from 13 nations where Fitzgerald was the first U.S. ship to ever participate. In Sri Lanka, Fitzgerald conducted bilateral visit board search and seizure training with the Sri Lanka Navy Special Boat Service.
Fitzgerald concluded deployment in U.S. 3rd Fleet by conducting two significant international exercises, including Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022, the largest multinational maritime exercise in the world, which is hosted every two years in and around the Hawaiian Islands with 26 participating nations.
Fitzgerald’s final exercise of deployment was Pacific Dragon (PACDRAGON) 2022, a recurring biennial multinational air and missile defense exercise designed to improve tactical and technical coordination and interoperability concerning regional air and missile defense capability.
“I am incredibly proud of this crew for always rising to the occasion,” said Catterall. “I am also incredibly grateful to the families and friends back home who supported our Sailors during these last seven months.”
An integral part of U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Indo-Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary to flawlessly execute our Navy’s role across the full spectrum of military operations—from combat operations to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. U.S. 3rd Fleet works together with our allies and partners to advance freedom of navigation, the rule of law, and other principles that underpin security for the Indo-Pacific region.
For more Fitzgerald information, please visit the ship’s website at https://www.surfpac.navy.mil/ddg62/ or www.dvidshub.net/unit/CSG3.