USS Stout breaks record for consecutive days at sea


U.S. FIFTH FLEET AREA OF OPERATIONS (WAVY) – The guided-missile destroyer USS Stout (DDG 55), which is homeported in Norfolk, has broken a Navy record for consecutive days at sea.

The U.S. Navy confirmed in an official release that the ship set the record Saturday after 208 days, or nearly seven months, operating in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.

U.S. 5th Fleet is responsible for an area encompassing approximately 2.5 million square miles of water including the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, US Navy ships are staying at sea longer and skipping port calls to help prevent the crew from being exposed on shore.

Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Mike Gilday, has expressed concern about mental health among sailors at sea for such a long period of time.

In a message Tuesday acknowledging the record, he applauded the crew’s commitment.

“We are extremely proud of Stout’s accomplishments in theater as they’ve been operating to ensure freedom of navigation,” said Vice Adm. Samuel Paparo, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet, Combined Maritime Forces. “Under the challenges of COVID-19 and the uncertainty of regional tensions, Stout embodied their motto and prevailed with ‘Courage, Valor and Integrity.’”

USS Stout is part of Destroyer Squadron Two Six under the Dwight D. Eisenhower (Ike) Carrier Strike Group. The Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (IKECSG) returned to Norfolk in August following a seven month deployment, but Stout remained in theater.

The previous known record for days spent consecutively at sea had been held by Ike and USS San Jacinto (CG 56), also as a result of coronavirus operations.

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