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The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87) departed its homeport at Naval Station Mayport for a scheduled deployment as part of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (IKECSG), Oct. 13.
The strike group will engage with allies and partners in support of maritime statecraft, which encompasses naval diplomacy and national efforts to build comprehensive U.S. and allied maritime power.
“I am extremely proud of the incredible work this crew has put in over the past year and a half,” said Cmdr. Justin B. Smith, Mason’s commanding officer. “I am excited to see us excel in our assignments as we head east with the strike group. Mason is more than ready to answer the call for any tasking we may receive.”
Sailors said goodbye to their friends and families on the pier as they departed from Mayport, Fla., with their motto “Proudly We Serve” displayed on command ballcaps as they commenced deployment on the Navy’s 248th birthday.
“Mason is ready to complete the mission, as we have shown time and time again through the rigorous work ups and training cycle,” said Command Master Chief Carlos Slade. “The crew has executed flawlessly, and they have my full confidence for every mission. I believe the same success the crew has had will continue throughout our deployment.”
Mason has spent much of the last year underway, completing a series of certifications to develop proficiency in naval dominance.
“We never stopped preparing and executing at a high level throughout our basic, integrated, and advanced training phases. Every certification has been building up for this very moment,” Slade said.
Along with Mason, IKECSG includes the CSG 2 staff, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 22 staff, the flagship aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), and the DESRON 22 Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG 107).
Join the conversation with Mason on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MASONDDG87/.
Find more news from USS Mason (DDG 87) at www.surflant.usff.navy.mil/ddg87/.