USS McFaul Returns to Norfolk Home Base

NORFOLK, VA – The guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul (DDG 74) returned to Norfolk, VA on Jan. 4, 2024 after an 8-month deployment to the Atlantic Ocean and U.S. 5th Fleet areas of operations.

McFaul served as an independently deployed ship in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations and an air defense unit in the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group (GRFCSG) off the coast of Israel. McFaul completed 34 Strait of Hormuz transits to ensure freedom of navigation for commercial traffic in a highly transited and politically sensitive area of the world. McFaul also conducted 17 close escorts for maritime allies and assets, in support of U.S. maritime security objectives in the Middle East and Europe.

“USS McFaul is a family,” said Quartermaster 2nd Class Jose Vispo, a member of the ship’s crew.. “Through the adversity and struggles, we still made it through with our chins held high. I believe that we were able to get through this very long deployment with such success because every member of the crew is treated like a brother or a sister. That family mentality turns any challenge, no matter how difficult, into a simple task. I think McFaul answered the call just as our namesake suggests: with courage, honor and sacrifice.”

In 250 days, the crew of McFaul conducted 26 replenishments at sea, sailed over 50,000 nautical miles, and safely transferred over 5,500,000 gallons of fuel. McFaul transited the Atlantic Ocean and began patrols the Gulf of Oman and Southern Arabian Gulf after transiting through the Suez Canal.

[Photo above: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul (DDG 74) returns to homeport at Naval Station Norfolk after an eight-month deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations, Jan. 4, 2024. McFaul, part of the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group (GRFCSG), deployed to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations to defend U.S., allied and partner interests. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan Seelbach)]

“McFaul and Team 74 return to our families and loved ones today from a record-setting eight month deployment to Fifth and Sixth Fleet Areas of Responsibility,” said Cmdr. Antonia Shey, the commanding officer of McFaul. “During our 192 days in Fifth Fleet, McFaul prevented the Iranian seizure of two motor tankers, completed an unprecedented 34 Strait of Hormuz transits, conducted rescue and assistance of distressed mariners, and escorted numerous merchant vessels to ensure free flow of commerce. Additionally, McFaul participated in joint and bi-lateral exercises strengthening partnerships and building relationships with five nations and the U.S. Air Force. The grit, determination, and hard work from every member of Team 74 contributed to McFaul’s successful deployment and I could not be prouder of Team 74.”

McFaul crew conducted maritime security operations and engaged with allied and partner nations in the 5th Fleet area of operations. McFaul navigated throughout the region providing assurance and deterring aggression, especially in the wake of the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks on Israel. While conducting patrols in the Gulf of Oman and Southern Arabian Gulf, McFaul conducted more than 130 hours of UAV operations. McFaul also hosted officers from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, participated in joint operations with the U.S. Air Force, operated at sea with a Qatari ship and joined bi-lateral exercises with the Omanis in order to strengthen ties in the region.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *