AT SEA – The Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Ingraham (FFG 61) will return to Everett, Wash. April 10 following an independent seven-month deployment in the U.S. 3rd, 5th and 7th Fleet Areas of Responsibility (AOR).
In addition to the more than 180 Sailors on board, Ingraham will arrive in homeport with nearly 30 "Tigers,” friends and family of the crew who embarked the "Last and the Finest” frigate during her last deployment stop in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
"As we return home we can look back with a great deal of pride upon a very diverse and successfully-completed set of missions." said Ingraham’s Commanding Officer Cmdr. Adam J. Welter. "It’s a real testament to the quality of training and professionalism of the crew that we could jump from disaster relief in Samoa to security operations in the Red Sea to engagements with foreign navies and heads of state and excel at each task. The continued support of our friends and families from home is a huge factor in our deployed success. Their support allows us to focus on our mission and go forward with confidence. It also makes the return home something special; we’re all looking forward to being with our families again.”
The Easy Riders of Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron Light 37 Det. Two from Hawaii, served as Ingraham’s air component.
While deployed to the 5th fleet AOR, Ingraham deterred smuggling and piracy as well as provided aid to local fisherman in the Red Sea by conducting Approach and Assist Visits in direct support of Commander Task Force 51 Struggle Against Violent Extremists and Pulse Of Life operations. Additionally, Ingraham conducted a critical and high visibility operation involving the escort of two newly built Iraqi patrol ships from the Suez Canal to Iraqi territorial waters.
“One of our primary missions during this deployment was to maintain a presence in the Red Sea," said Lt. Austin Duff, Ingraham’s Operations Officer. "Our mission showed our commitment to maintain stability and protect the economic livelihood of our friends and allies in the region. The interaction with local fishermen was great; they appreciate and understand how our presence contributes to security in the region"
While in the 3rd and 7th Fleet AORs, Ingraham engaged in Theater Security Cooperation by conducting numerous port visits, which included stops in countries of Tahiti, Maldives, Bangladesh, Thailand, and Singapore. In addition to participating in community relations events, Ingraham crew engaged in military-to-military exchanges with foreign navy Sailors and executed joint exercises at sea.
"My challenge to the crew was to exceed our commanders’ expectations in every task we were assigned,” said Welter, “and our Sailors ran with that concept. Based upon the feedback from each of the fleet and task force commanders to which we were assigned, Ingraham met my challenge. I am very proud of the way our crew performed as professional Sailors, technical experts, trainers, and ambassadors around the world.”
Although proud of accomplishing their missions, the crew is looking forward to the homecoming.
"Just knowing that we made it through seven months of deployment and left it all out there on the field makes homecoming that much sweeter,” said Navy Career Counselor 1st Class (SW) John Oliveira. “I can’t wait to see my family on the pier and words can’t describe how much I miss them.”
"Despite the close bonds that are formed on such a long deployment, family is the first thing on my mind now that we are homeward bound," added Sonar Technician 2nd Class (SW) Nicholas Pallitto.
Ingraham helps provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the sea and humanitarian/disaster response within THIRD Fleet's 50-million square mile area of responsibility in the Eastern Pacific, as well as supporting the nation's maritime strategy when forward deployed.
Although the homecoming is not open to the public, media wishing
to cover the Ingraham’s arrival should call 425-304-3202 by noon, April 9. For more information, contact Kristin
Ching at Public Affairs by phone (425) 304-3202 or email Kristin.firstname.lastname@example.org.