USS Mobile Bay has entered Middle Eastern waters

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The San Diego-based guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay has entered Middle Eastern waters, coming under command of the Fifth Fleet, the Navy announced today.

The vessel, which departed San Diego on Sept. 1 for a deployment scheduled to last eight months, is operating with a strike group led by the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis, which is homeported in Bremerton, Wash. They entered the Fifth Fleet's area of responsibility on Wednesday, according to the Navy.

“We're looking forward to working with our partner nations and ensuring the vital sea lanes of this region remain free for all maritime traffic,” said Rear Adm. Chuck Gaouette, commander of the Stennis Strike Group.

“We have trained for a wide variety of contingencies, from supporting coalition ground troops in Afghanistan to conducting humanitarian assistance operations, and I'm confident this strike group will accomplish any mission that we are asked to execute,” he said.

The Stennis is replacing the venerable aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, which will head home to complete its final scheduled deployment.

Sailors aboard the 567-foot cruiser, and other ships in the detachment, made port calls in Malaysia and Thailand while enroute to its operation station. They also conducted joint exercises in the Indian Ocean with a group of ships led by the aircraft carrier USS George Washington.

The Ticonderoga-class cruiser is named for the Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864.

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