SAN DIEGO — The guided missile destroyer USS O’Kane returned home Feb. 6 at Naval Station San Diego, completing an eight-month deployment to the US 5th and 7th Fleet areas of operations.
O’Kane deployed in June 2021 as the missile defense commander of Carrier Strike Group 1.
“The sailors aboard USS O’Kane are leading the way, demonstrating resilience and dedication to support the mission and each other,” the commander said. Michel Fontenot, O’Kane’s commander. “As an independent paratrooper who served in both the US 5th and 7th Fleets, O’Kane was successful in every mission.”
O’Kane escorted several units through 30 straits, including the Strait of Hormuz, the Bab el Mandeb and the Suez Canal. O’Kane has been involved in maritime security operations in support of the International Maritime Security Coalition, working with seven partner countries to ensure security and the free movement of trade.
O’Kane also participated in the bilateral maritime exercise Indigo Defender between the Royal Saudi Navy and US Naval Central Command.
The ship conducted maritime interception operations; inspection, search and seizure; and operated alongside international navies including the Egyptian Navy, the Royal Saudi Navy and the Indian Navy.
As on-scene commander, O’Kane escorted two mine defense ships through the Bab el Mandeb Strait, noting that for the first time in seven years, a mine defense ship operating from Bahrain crossed to and from the Red Sea.
O’Kane was also involved in the seizure of illegal cargo from a stateless fishing vessel in the North Arabian Sea on 20 December. According to the Navy, O’Kane’s team captured 1,400 AK-47s and 226,000 rounds of ammunition.