NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The USS Carter Hall and the USS San Antonio returned back to Norfolk after a seven-month deployment.
The USS Carter Hall returned home on Thursday, Oct. 7 to its homeport at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek. It is the first of three ships within the USS Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (IWOARG) to return home. During the deployment, the USS Carter Hall visited seven ports including Plymouth, United Kingdom; Lisbon, Portugal; Rota, Spain; Souda Bay, Greece; Aqaba, Jordan; Jebel Ali, UAE; and Manama, Bahrain.
Carter Hall Commanding Officer LaDonna Simpson said the sailors and U.S. Marines did a fantastic job.
“As part of a collaborative effort with USS San Antonio and Naval personnel stationed in the operating area, our team effort made a lifelong impact for thousands of Afghan families. Carter Hall crew members embodied the ship’s motto, ‘Working for Peace; Ready for War’ as they adjusted to an ever-changing mission set, doing so with eagerness and determination,” said Cmdr. Simpson.
Naval Station Norfolk welcomed back the USS San Antonio on Friday, Oct. 8.
The commanding officer of the San Antonio, Capt. Robert Bibeau said that they successfully did everything while on deployment.
“Even with the restrictions that came with deploying during a pandemic, we were able to do some truly amazing things over the course of the last eight months,” said Capt. Bibeau.
Both ships departed Naval Station Norfolk on Feb. 12 to begin certification training followed by a transit of the Atlantic Ocean and participated in Operation Allies Welcome helping facilitate the safe transit of more than 7,000 U.S. citizens and evacuees traveling from Afghanistan through Bahrain.
The flagship Iwo Jima is scheduled to return to its homeport early next week.