By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Stevie Tate
NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines manned the rails as the amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24) set sail from Naval Station Norfolk Tuesday morning for its maiden deployment.
The San Antonio-class ship and its nearly 1,200 Sailors and Marines are scheduled to conduct operations in the U.S. Navy's 6th and 5th Fleet areas of responsibility as part of an ongoing rotation of U.S. forces supporting maritime security operations in international waters around the globe.
"I've seen this crew grow and tighten as they have transitioned from a pre-commissioning mindset to where we are now, on the doorstep of Arlington's maiden deployment," said Command Master Chief Brian McDonough. "The fact that this is Arlington's maiden deployment is very significant in that this is an event that will only happen once, and it is great to finally see all of the work this crew has put into this ship throughout the training cycle culminate in this historic event."
Family and friends were given the opportunity to participate in a farewell reception with a prayer from the command chaplain and words from the commanding officer before saying their last goodbyes. The crew then manned the rails as the ship pulled out of Naval Station Norfolk to begin the transit across the Atlantic Ocean.
"This deployment is the culmination of all of the hard work that we've done to get the ship and the crew ready for deployment," said Commanding Officer Capt. Sean Bailey. "We will be exercising all of the skills that we have practiced and refined during this last year of training, and my expectation is that Arlington's maiden deployment will be both a mission success as well as professionally and personally rewarding for its crew."