NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Hundreds of local sailors left Friday from Naval Station Norfolk.
The guided-missile destroyer USS Laboon deployed following a quick turnaround from its last mission.
Shorter home stays between deployments has actually raised questions about safety at sea. Last year’s deadly USS Fitzgerald and USS McCain crashes in the Pacific have caused concerns.
10 On Your Side asked the Laboon’s Commanding Officer, Jason Labott, if sailors are getting enough training. “We actually took that on-board and we had a lot of extra time in the simulators. We had a lot of underway time between the six months we were here, ” Labott said.
The Laboon’s leadership actually thinks the quick turnaround can be an asset. “So, everybody kind of stayed in a deployment mode, the training was pretty consistent the sailors are ready to get back out to it,” said Command Master Chief Angelo Rappa.
The two men are confident in the crew , including those watching the bridge.
That’s the ship’s nerve center, and the center of scrutiny following last year’s collisions. “I’ve got a great team of officers of the deck up there they know to call me if they need help. I get phone calls all night long and I’m fine with it ,” Labott told WAVY.com.
Photos: USS Laboon returns home
While overseas, the destroyer conducted operations in the Middle East and in the North Atlantic Ocean.
In its latest mission, the Laboon will conduct maritime security in the U.S. Fifth Fleet and U.S. Sixth Fleet areas of operation — which includes the Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.