With deployment cancellations and Naval ship returns, there is an abundance of Naval vessels docked in San Diego. USS Gary, the San Diego-based frigate, arrived at San Diego’s port on Friday. After six months in Central and South America, USS Gary was happy to come home from a very successful deployment.
The Perry-class frigate Gary participated in an independent deployment called Operation Martillo, a drug-fighting mission that spans multiple nations. During Operation Martillo, USS Gary was successful in capturing 2,200 pounds of cocaine on one mission, creating a new record for the largest drug seizure the ship has ever seen. The USS Gary along with its onboard crew of a U.S. Coast Guard detachment participated in nine separate operations that confiscated a total of 12,000 pounds of cocaine with a street value nearing $388 million.
During its deployment, USS Gary also arrested ten suspects, sank four drug-trafficking ships, and helped clean and paint schools in Costa Rica, Panama City, and Golfito, according to Navy officials.
Another Naval ship is also returning to San Diego today. The cruiser USS Cowpens is making its way back to the United States after being deployed in Japan since 2000. Cowpens helped Japan with the earthquake and tsunami that devastated their country in 2011. USS Cowpens will now begin training and operations within the Eastern Pacific Third Fleet territory.
The homeport of San Diego will continue to see an increase of Naval vessels in the next few weeks. Scheduled deployments for USS Rentz and attack submarine Jefferson City have been canceled as an effect of the budget cuts. Along with these two ships, frigate USS Thach will also be in San Diego shortly. Thach is returning to San Diego early from its Southern Command deployment due to budget cuts.
Although the future is uncertain for these Naval ships, they will always have a home in San Diego. Look for more Navy ships coming to San Diego in the future, there will be more returning from deployments in the months ahead.